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Its Message, Its Method and Its Men 

Edited by 














Help from Earth and Heaven 

WE who are called apart to hills and dales 

Where in each sunrise God is speaking clear, 
Where from each sunset s glow we seem to hear 

The songs of wreathed angels, the all-hails 

Of bright-winged seraphims may watch the sails 
Of yonder boat that steals across the mere, 
And know that to the haven as we steer 

For us the invisible power of God prevails. 

Lo ! to the mountains, as we lift our eyes, 

For help we feel th Almighty arms are spread ; 
To bring us peace, the lake and field and grove 
Proclaim a Father s mercy and His love ; 
While, from the tireless stars, at night is shed 
The joy of those who watch in Paradise. 



TO-DAY is Whit-Sunday which is observed through 
out the world as the day on which the Church of 
Christ remembers that great article of the Christian 
Creed which all hold in common, " I believe in the Holy 
Ghost." The Keswick Convention exists to make this 
belief not merely a theological formula, but " a living 
bright reality " to each Christian soul. The manner in 
which this annual gathering of God s people has attained 
to the position of world-wide influence and importance 
which it now holds is told in the following pages by the 
pen of many witnesses. Three small volumes have 
already been issued dealing with this subject. The first 
and largest of these is entitled " Canon Harford-Battersby 
and the Keswick Convention," by two of his sons, 
tracing the origin of the Convention to the life of the 
founder. The second is a volume by the Rev. A. T. Pierson, 
D.D., the gifted missionary writer from the United 
States, and a chapter from this book is embodied with 
some modification in the present volume. The third 
volume has been issued by the Religious Tract Society 
and its title is " Holiness by Faith " containing four 
chapters by the Bishop of Durham, Rev. J. Elder 
Cumming, Rev. F. B. Meyer, and Rev. Hubert Brooke. 
Part of Mr. Brooke s chapter in that book is also 
reproduced here. It was felt, however, by the publishers 
of this volume that there was a widespread need for a 
more detailed statement concerning the history of the 
Convention, its teaching and its results, to which those 



most closely identified with the Convention should be 
asked to contribute. The Editor as the youngest son of 
the founder and as a layman was invited to gather 
together the necessary material, and the accompanying 
pages indicate the response which has been made to his 

Although help has been most generously given by all 
of those who are the recognised leaders of the Conven 
tion, yet this volume is not an official publication, the 
Editor being solely responsible for the arrangement of the 
work, each individual contributor being only responsible 
for his or her own contribution. At the same time, whilst 
there may be some difference of expression, there is a 
unity of thought running through the different chapters 
which is characteristic of the definiteness of the teaching, 
and which shows very plainly what is the aim and object 
of the Keswick Convention. If there is some repetition 
this is accounted for by the fact that each contributor 
wrote independently of the others, and in many cases it 
will add to the interest of the book. 

Pasteur Theodore Monod, of Paris, who took a leading 
share in the Convention in early days, and the Rev. 
Andrew Murray, D.D., who is well-known as the founder 
of the Wellington Convention in South Africa, and a 
most helpful writer on the subject of sanctification, were 
both invited to contribute, but were unable to do so. 
Both of them are referred to in later chapters. 

It was obviously impossible to invite all speakers at 
the Keswick Convention to write a chapter, but all who 
have at all regularly taken part in the meetings have been 
invited to send in some short message to be incorporated 
in this book. Most of these have done so, some have felt 
a difficulty in framing so brief a contribution as was 
suggested, but one and all have expressed their sympathy 
with this effort, 



These short paragraphs will be found on the back of 
the title pages facing some of the chapters. In the 
same position in other chapters some of the hymns are 
printed, which may be taken as typical of the Conven 
tion hymnology. We are grateful to the Rev. F. S. 
Webster for his contribution to this subject. 

Seeing that the Keswick Convention owes very much 
to the beauty of its surroundings, it was felt that a short 
sonnet on the beauties of Keswick would be most appro 
priate. Canon Rawnsley, as the chief living poet of the 
lakes, and the man who has taken the lead in preserving 
for the public the beauties of the Lake district most 
kindly responded to our request, and a little poem from 
his pen will be found on an earlier page. 

Many have from time to time, some even in the 
following pages, expressed the wish that it were not 
necessary to use such terms as " the Keswick Message," 
"the Keswick Speakers," or "the Keswick Movement." 
This is the strong feeling of the Editor, but whilst it is 
desirable that these expressions should be used sparingly, 
it is almost impossible to avoid their use in any lengthy 
contribution to the subject before us. 

The Rev. John Battersby Harford has most kindly 
read through the proofs, and has made some valuable 

All who have helped in this work are busy people, and 
each chapter has meant much expenditure of time and 
thought. Mere formal thanks would be but poor 
acknowledgment of their trouble, but if it should lead 
some to Keswick who have never been before, if it should 
lead others to enter into blessing from the reading of the 
written page, one and all will feel that they have had the 
best reward. 

Whit-Sunday, 1907. 


Table of Contents 


PREFACE . . . . v 






(a) REV. PREB. H. W. WEBB-PEPLOE . 35 

(b) REV. E. W. MOORE . . 45 







REV. A. T. PIERSON . 87 


REV. J. B. FIGGIS ... 97 


MR. ALBERT HEAD . . . in 


REV. C. G. MOORE . . .121 


MR. EUGENE STOCK . . . 131 




(a) REV. F. B. MEYER . . . 157 

(b) REV. C. INWOOD . . . 165 














. 211 


The Keswick Convention : 
its Message, its Method 
and its Men 


By The Editor 

" Stand still and see ! " yea, see, to-day, 

New wonders of redeeming grace 
The mighty Potter moulds the clay 

Again within this hallowed place, 
Till, through the human, the Divine 
Is seen once more to move and shine. 

Here "commune with thine heart, be still ! " 

Search all the secret stores of years, 
Till silence, now unbearable, 

Self, self-betrayed with blinding tears 
Then fall at Jesu s feet, and say, 

"Thou canst, Thou shalt, cleanse all to-day ! " 

" Be still, and know that I am God ! " 

Peace, wounded conscience, heaving breast ! 

Christ s pierc d hand bears alone the rod, 
His cloud transfigures and brings rest. 

Take, Lord, Thy power ; reign, great I AM, 

O ershadowing Guest, all-conquering Lamb ! 

Then, in the hush of this fair Tent, 

And solemn stillness of this hour, 
Three thousand souls before Thee bent, 

Break forth, O Holy Ghost, in power 
Sweep through, thou Wind of God, sweep through ; 

Once more cleanse, consecrate, renew ! 

C. A. Fox. 

The Keswick Convention : Its Message, 
its Method and its Men 

THERE is a fragrance about the name Keswick 
which passes human language to express, which is 
dependent for its sweetness not upon any single 
cause, but arises from an association of circumstances 
which mus-t be enjoyed in order to be understood. To 
the writer Keswick seems to be the most beautiful spot 
on the world s surface, judged merely from the point 
of view of natural beauty, added to which it brings back 
to him memories of a lovely and peaceful home, of 
parents who gave to their children the example of a joyful 
and holy life, but most of all it speaks to him of spiritual 
privileges which have profoundly influenced his life. 

It is of these that this little volume seeks to tell the 
tale, and it is no disparagement of the beauty of Lake 
Derwentwater, or of the varied hills which surround it, 
that Keswick is associated in the minds of multitudes 
not so much with its scenery as with the manifestation of 
spiritual power, or shall we say of the power of the Spirit, 
which has been experienced there and the influence of 
which has been felt in every quarter of the world. 

The Keswick Convention arose, as have many similar 
undertakings which have deeply influenced the people of 
our time, not from any human design to inaugurate a 
great world-wide movement, but from causes which the 
world would call accidental, but which we recognise as 


The Keswick Convention 

When Canon Harford-Battersby returned to his parish 
in the little Cumberland town, Keswick, having passed 
through a remarkable spiritual change at the Oxford 
Conference of 1874, his one desire was that his own 
people should share with him the blessing which had trans 
formed his life, and which, he was convinced, would have 
the same influence on all who would receive it. Others 
will tell at first hand the story of those early days, but it 
is sufficient to say here that the Vicar of St. John s, 
Keswick, and Mr. Robert Wilson, who from the first was 
associated with him in the organisation of the Conven 
tion, were at the time utterly unconscious whereunto 
this would grow. How the growth has taken place from 
that day to this succeeding pages will tell, and as we 
look back at the eventful years which have passed since 
the first Convention in 1875 we can only exclaim, 
" What hath God wrought ? " Now, however, that the 
Keswick Convention has grown to its present position of 
influence, it is well that we should ask what is the mean 
ing of this movement, and we therefore propose to speak 
in this chapter of its message, its methods, and its men. 


Its message is perhaps best expressed in the terms of 
its original title, in which it is described as a " Conven 
tion for the Promotion of Practical Holiness." This 
is the one reason for its existence. The Keswick Con 
vention has set up no new school of theology, it 
has instituted no new sect, it has not even formed 
a society, but exists for the sole purpose of helping 
men to be holy. It is the result rather than the 
process which produces that result which it is the 
aim of the Convention to produce. It desires to prove to 
the world that holiness of life is possible in the office as 
well as in the pulpit, in the castle as well as the cottage, in 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

the lands where heathen darkness can almost be felt 
as in the quiet Christian atmosphere of this land of 

But again it is no abstract proposition which the Con 
vention seeks to propound, it lives above all to show how 
this may be attained, and the chief justification for the 
existence of this movement lies in the fact that these 
results have been attained. Men and women, most of 
them already believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and in 
His atoning blood, a large majority of them Christian 
workers, have come to Keswick cast down, restless, 
selfish, powerless, almost doubting the reality of the faith 
which they possessed, and they have gone away with 
lives transformed. A new joy has filled their souls, the 
peace of God reigns in their hearts, they have been con 
strained not to live unto themselves, but unto Him, the 
power of God has come upon them, and all by the exercise 
of that faith which first united them to Jesus Christ, but 
which has now become to them the habit of their lives. 

The message of the Convention is addressed, as we have 
already indicated, to those who are the children of God 
through faith in Christ Jesus, and therefore taking the 
words of the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews we 
would say " let us cease to speak of the first principles of 
Christ, and press on unto perfection," or as the margin 
says, " full growth." Perhaps the words full growth 
express in the best way the experience which is set 
forth as the normal position to which Christians should 
attain. Too many are satisfied with being babes in 
Christ ; they have rejoiced in the knowledge of sins for 
given, and new life imparted through Christ, but like the 
Galatian Christians, having begun in the Spirit they are 
seeking to be made perfect by the flesh. 

To such the message of the Keswick Convention is 
addressed ; it sets before them a life of faith and victory, 


The Keswick Convention 

of peace and rest as the rightful heritage of the child of 
God, into which he may step not by the laborious ascent 
of some " Scala Sancta," not by long prayers and 
laborious effort, but by a deliberate and decisive act of 

In a word the Convention may be regarded as a 
" Mission" to Christians, and has many resemblances to 
the " Mission " to non-Christians with which we are all 
familiar. The latter sets before the unbeliever the 
efficacy of Christ s atonement to put away the sin of the 
repentant soul, it bids him to accept by faith the work 
which Christ has accomplished once for all, and to receive 
the free gift of God which is eternal life. 

The former teaches that the normal experience of the 
child of God should be one of victory instead of constant 
defeat, one of liberty instead of grinding bondage, one of 
" perfect peace " instead of restless worry. It shows 
that in Christ there is provided for every believer victory, 
liberty, and rest, and that this may be obtained not by a 
life-long struggle after an impossible ideal but by the 
surrender of the individual to God, and the indwelling of 
the Holy Spirit. At Keswick, as in the ordinary 
" Mission," stress is laid upon a crisis which may take 
place in the believer, which has taken place in multitudes 
who, by simple faith, have yielded themselves to God, 
and whose lives have been from that moment transformed, 
as was the case with the founder of the Convention. 
Yet no one would presume to say how this crisis should 
take place. With some it has taken place on the 
mountain top where the soul is alone with God, and 
where, far distant from the busy hum of men, a solemn 
dedication has been made of the whole being to God, and 
the fire of God has descended to take possession of the living 
sacrifice which has thus been willingly made to Him. In 
another the step may have taken place in the crowded 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

tent where, amid the united prayers of God s people, 
courage has been given to break with the past of dis 
honouring failure, and of selfish service, and to crown 
Him Lord of all, Who before had only been admitted to 
divided rule over the human heart. 

In some cases, as in conversion, it is impossible to tell 
the exact moment in which the surrender has taken 
place, but at the same time there is the definite assur 
ance that this step has been taken, that the Spirit of God 
is ruling in the heart, and that all is at rest. 

It matters not how the experience is reached, but the 
vital point is that all should enter into the experience. 


It has proved necessary in dealing with the message to 
allude in some measure to the methods by which it is 
presented. At the same time it will be interesting to 
review the methods which have been adopted. It might 
almost be said of Keswick that there is no method though 
all is methodical. There is no cast-iron system by which 
its meetings are dominated, and many changes have 
taken place in the arrangement of the meetings, the one 
desire of the leaders being that they may themselves be 
led by the Spirit of God, and that no mere formalism 
should characterise the gatherings. We have spoken of 
the Convention as being a " Mission " to Christians. It 
may be compared to what has been known as a " Quiet 
Day," or a " Retreat," though ideas may be connected 
with these terms which are very far removed from the 
line of the Keswick Convention. It must, however, be 
allowed that much of the success of the Convention arises 
from the fact that the hundreds or thousands who have 
met there have gone aside from their ordinary worldly 
pursuits to meet with God, and this in a place of 
remarkable beauty and quietness, which for the time 


The Keswick Convention 

appears to be altogether given up to the Convention, to 
the surprise of the casual tourist, who unwittingly selects 
that week in the year for his visit to the lakes. 

The attitude which the attenders have been urged to 
take up may best be expressed in the words of the 
Psalmist, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my 
expectation is from Him" (Ps. Ixii.), and this is said to 
have been the keynote of the first meeting of the first 
Convention of 1875. From early days suggestions were 
issued to those attending the Convention, some of which 
may be here quoted. 

"We have met as Christians to wait upon the Lord for 
the fulfilment in us of those promises of grace which He 
has made to us in Jesus Christ. For the better securing 
this end particular attention is requested to the following 
suggestions : 

" I. Come waiting on the Lord, desiring and expecting 
blessing to your own soul individually. 

" II. Be ready to learn whatever God may teach you 
by His word, however opposed to human prejudices and 

"III. Heartily renounce all known evil and even 
doubtful things not of faith. 

"IV. Lay aside for the time all reading except the 

V. Avoid conversation which has a tendency to 
divert your mind from the object of the Meetings. Do not 
dispute with any, but rather pray with those who differ 
from you. 

"VI. Eat moderately, dress simply, retire to rest 

There has been some tendency in recent years to smile 
at the circumstantial nature of these suggestions, yet 
there can be little question that attention to small details 
has done much to contribute to the solemnity of the 

Its Message, its Method and its Men 

occasion. A plea for a simpler life has been recently put 
forward as a cure for the restlessness of Society, how 
much more is it needed by the Church, especially in its 
season devoted to Communion with God. Keswick does 
not prescribe fasting, but it suggests that the soul will be 
freer for meditating on the deep things of God, when 
little thought is spent on the problems, What shall we 
eat ? what shall we drink ? and wherewithal shall we be 
clothed ? 

The tyranny of the newspaper which tends to absorb the 
best moments of the day is not felt so much in a place 
where the London paper at least cannot be obtained in 
the early hours of the morning, and the possibility which 
the Convention gives of emancipation from the absorbing 
interests of business or pleasure, or the cares of the 
home circle contribute to give to Keswick its unique 
position. Other Conventions have been organised in 
the great towns with the same message, many of the same 
speakers, and a similar plan of meetings ; yet in these 
cases there has not been the same element of quiet. 
Many of the speakers have come only for a single meet 
ing and then gone back to the pressing claims of their 
various spheres, instead of setting apart the whole week 
as in the case of the Keswick Convention. Similarly the 
hearers often run into one meeting or another whilst the 
rest of the day is occupied with the distractions of a busy 
life. Much blessing has resulted in spite of these 
difficulties, but the surroundings of Keswick have doubt- 
les s contributed much to the position which the Conven 
tion occupies amongst others of a similar kind. 

If it were desired to describe in one word the methods 
adopted at Keswick they might be summed up in the word 
simplicity. The choice ot a tent as the place of meeting 
at once severs it from associations of a sectarian 
character which might naturally belong to buildings, but 


The Keswkk Convention 

there is a better reason for the use of tents in later 
Conventions from the fact that no building could hold the 
multitudes who attend the Convention, and for whom 
now two large marquees are provided, each holding 
about 2,250 people, these being the property of the 
Keswick Convention and being pitched upon ground also 
the property of the Convention, 

The programme of the meetings has usually followed 
the same plan. The early morning prayer - meeting 
commences at 7 a.m., and is largely attended, a missionary 
prayer-meeting being held in the second tent at the same 
hour. This was formerly held after breakfast, but the 
more recent arrangement is much preferred. A Bible 
Reading is given in each tent at ten o clock by a chosen 
speaker, who delivers a consecutive course on four succeed 
ing mornings. These are very largely attended, and it is 
a sight not easily to be forgotten to see the large con 
gregation following with the closest attention the teaching 
of the speaker, whilst the platform is always crowded, 
many being there who are far more accustomed to speak 
than to listen, yet each and all waiting to hear what God 
the Lord will speak through His own Word. This is 
characteristic of the teaching of the Convention ; the 
impregnable rock of Holy Scripture is the foundation 
upon which each speaker builds his message, and it is in 
faith in the Living Word, speaking through the written 
Word in the power of the Holy Spirit that the work is 
done. Following the Bible Reading there is usually a 
general meeting, whilst sectional meetings for ladies, 
clergy, and young men are often arranged at the same 

It was hoped in the earlier days that the afternoons 
might be kept free for rest and refreshment on the 
lake and hillsides, but for various reasons it has 
been considered necessary to have a meeting at least 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

in one of the tents in the afternoons. The great 
meeting of the day is, however, the evening general 
meeting. At this it is sought to bring the teach 
ing of the day to a practical conclusion, and an after- 
meeting is held. This is usually conducted by the 
speaker who gives the last address and varies somewhat 
in character according to the experience and practice of 
the particular leader. A break is made at the close of 
the general meeting before the after-meeting, and then 
sometimes follows a short second address making clear 
the message of the evening. Following on this there is 
usually a solemn time of prayer, and during the singing of 
an appropriate hymn, whilst the congregation are on 
their knees, an invitation is given to those whose hearts 
have been touched by the Holy Spirit to rise in their 
places as a token that they desire to consecrate them 
selves wholly unto God. These after-meetings have 
frequently been times of great solemnity, and many can 
date from such an occasion the inspiration of their lives. 

There is, however, no attempt on the part of the 
leaders to press unduly the importance of some such act 
of public consecration, though they are convinced of its 
great helpfulness in a large number of cases, but as we 
have already stated many have found the secret of 
blessing in their own rooms or alone on the hill side. 
Opportunities are afforded at the close of each after- 
meeting for conversation with members of the platform 
who may be able by individual help to guide those who 
are seeking the way of holiness, but are beset by doubts 
and fears. It is difficult to overestimate the value of 
these conversations, and it should be known by all who 
attend that the speakers and other experienced helpers 
feel it a privilege to assist any who would like to bring to 
them their difficulties. 

It has sometimes been held that Evangelical Christians 


The Keswick Convention 

who feel strongly the dangers of what is usually known 
as " the Confessional," do not recognise the importance 
of personal dealing. This is certainly not the case 
amongst the Keswick speakers, who have found by 
experience the great value of personal dealing with indi 
viduals by which many have been brought into the 
glorious light and liberty of the Gospel, who had been 
kept captive by some besetting sin, or some practice 
dishonouring to God. 

Very much, however, of the work ot the Convention is 
done in ways which are quite unnoticed by the casual 
visitor. In the various lodging-houses, in excursions on 
the lake or on the mountain side, conversations have 
taken place which have been truly epoch-making in many 
lives, the fruits of which eternity alone can disclose. 

It has been clearly stated that the Convention is 
intended for those who are sincere believers in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, but in so large an assembly there are 
certain to be those who are Christians in name, and 
who have never apprehended the great truths of the 
Gospel. These are not forgotten, and in the course of 
the Conventions many have been led for the first time to 
a knowledge of sins forgiven, and peace through the 
blood of His Cross. 

There are, however, in addition to the regular Convention 
meetings, special evangelistic meetings designed for the 
benefit of the people of Keswick itself, for though there are 
many among the residents who highly value the privileges 
of the Convention and attend the regular meetings, this is 
not possible for all, and these evangelistic meetings are 
arranged on the Sunday afternoons before and after the 
Convention. They have been addressed by such well- 
known evangelists as D. L. Moody, John McNeill, Dr. 
Torrey, William Haslam, George Clarke, and W. R. 
Lane, and in addition Mr. Lane has been the leader for 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

many years of open-air-services held in the market place 
under the auspices of the Convention. These various 
services are very much in accord with the aim of the 
founder of the Convention, whose great desire it was that 
his own people should be blessed. 

From the contemplation of the deep spiritual mysteries 
which surround the problem of the holy life it may seem 
inappropriate to pass to the consideration of the methods 
of administration and organisation, but there can be 
little doubt that the attention paid to these matters has 
contributed to the success of the movement in no small 
degree. There is no dreamy sentimentalism about the 
organisation of the details, every arrangement being care 
fully planned by men who, like the deacons mentioned in 
the Acts, are men full of the Holy Ghost, whose serving 
of tables has not been regarded as of little importance, but 
as a trust from God. 

At the outset the management of the Convention 
was entirely in the hands of the two conveners, Canon 
Harford-Battersby and Mr. Robert Wilson, the former 
acting as chairman of the meetings and the latter superin 
tending all the business arrangements. Few can realise 
the immense amount of time and trouble which was 
involved in such matters as the choice of sites and of 
suitable tents, and even when these problems were solved 
there were the questions of the lighting and ventilation of 
the tents, the security of the tent in times of rain and 
storm, and it is owing to the patience, tact, and judg 
ment of Mr. Wilson and the workmen who acted under 
him that only on one occasion, during the Convention of 
1876, was the tent blown down, and then, mercifully, 
without serious damage or personal injury. 

Yet all this work did not permit Mr. Wilson to take 
much personal part in the Convention meetings during 
the early years. It was with great difficulty that he 


The Keswick Convention 

could be persuaded to take a seat on the platform, and 
then probably only for part of the opening and closing 
meetings. In the work of organisation Mr. Robert Wilson 
was ably supported by his four sons, and Mr. William 
Wilson succeeded his father as superintendent of the 
business side of the work when his father became chair 
man, and carries this on to the present day. He has 
most kindly furnished some details which illustrate most 
clearly the development of the Convention. The first 
tent used was a marquee employed for diocesan purposes, 
and held about 600 people. It was pitched for the first 
three years in very much the same position as the Eskin 
Street tent at present occupies, whilst in 1878 it was put 
up in a field at the bottom of the parsonage garden. The 
next year it was moved back again to Eskin Street, where 
some years later a tent to hold 800 was bought and became 
the property of the Convention. 

After various changes a piece of ground was definitely 
purchased in Eskin Street with funds raised as a 
memorial to the founder of the Convention in the year 
1887, and from that day to this further extension of the 
property has been made until the present time, when 
there are two tents each holding about 2,250, and each 
pitched upon its own freehold site. Not only so but each 
tent is now lighted by electric light ; there is also an 
office, a speaker s room, a post office, a waiting room, and 

Besides these, there is an official bookstall in connec 
tion with each tent provided by Messrs. Marshall 
Brothers, the profits of sales during Convention time 
being devoted to the funds of the Convention. Other 
bookstalls are planted year by year outside the gates of 
each tent as a result of private enterprise. Some of 
them undoubtedly have their use, but there is a danger 
lest these should detract from the solemn purpose of the 

Its Message, its Method and its Men 

Convention, especially where they represent organisations 
competing with one another for support. 

Another serious problem connected with the Conven 
tion is that of the housing of the many visitors, estimated 
last year as about 10,000. From the first until a 
few years ago Mr. Postlethwaite, a resident of Keswick, 
most kindly undertook to keep a register of lodgings and 
to find accommodation, so far as possible, for those who 
applied. What this task must have meant is difficult to 
contemplate, but it must be reckoned as one of the most im 
portant and difficult parts of the Convention organisation. 

In the early days especially the provision for so many 
visitors was naturally quite inadequate, and some strange 
stories could be told of experiences in lodgings at 
Keswick. There have, however, been great changes in 
recent years. Large numbers of houses have been built 
mainly with a view to accommodating visitors to the 
Convention, and the material prosperity of Keswick is 
bound up in no small degree with the annual Convention. 
Many visitors are also accommodated in neighbouring 
villages and many come in daily by train or bicycle from 
considerable distances. Several camps have also been 
arranged for men, one of which, connected with the 
Y.M.C.A., under the leadership of Mr. W. H. Hudson, ot 
Penrith, being particularly successful. 

One further practical point remains to be considered 
which has also received the special attention of a devoted 
layman. The fact that Keswick is far off from the great 
centres of the United Kingdom might be a difficulty but 
for the resource of Mr. J. T. Budd, who now arranges 
special trains to take visitors to Keswick at cheap fares, 
thus greatly diminishing the difficulties. Mr. Budd s 
" Key to Keswick" is an invaluable guide to those who 
wish to attend the Convention. 

The foregoing details may be regarded as trivial, but 


The Keswick Convention 

they are recorded that it may be seen how intensely 
practical has been the development of this Convention, 
and how many there are who have given time and 
thought and labour in order to make this week of meet 
ings a time of quiet communion with God. 

In spite, however, of all these facilities, many would 
never have been able to go to Keswick at all were it not 
for the forethought of certain individuals, chiefly ladies, 
who have from year to year provided hospitality for 
missionaries, clergy, ministers, and other Christian 
workers, undergraduates and others. It is impossible to 
estimate the marvellous blessing which has come to many 
of the house parties which have been arranged in this 
manner. The extent to which this hospitality can be 
extended naturally depends upon the supply of funds and 
those who have themselves benefited by the Convention 
would be rendering a great service by contributing to 
these funds.* 

The property of the Convention is vested in Trustees, 
who are ultimately responsible for the general arrange 
ments and for the conduct of the meetings. 


No record of the Keswick Convention would be com 
plete without some reference to the individuals through 
whom this wonderful work of God has been chiefly 
carried on. Few who only know the Convention in 
recent years could guess how it is that this remarkable 
body of men and women have become associated in this 
great enterprise, and are bound together by bonds of 
brotherly love and sympathy which is unexampled in any 
other modern Christian movement. The great forces of 
denominational partizanship which are so strong and so 
unhappy a feature of the life of the Christian Churches 

*Anyone desirous of contributing to these funds should write to 
A, A. Head, Esq. (Keswick Convention), Corrie Lodge, Wimbledon. 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

at the present time finds no echo at Keswick. Here are 
men each with their own responsibilities to the Christian 
bodies which they represent, each with their own earnest 
convictions on many disputed questions, meeting for the 
solemn week of the Convention as Christian brethren, 
and all this without any sacrifice of principle, or any want 
of loyalty to that branch of the Christian Church to 
which they may belong. Is not this a foretaste of the 
fellowship of the saints in glory to which we all profess 
to look forward, but which seems so infinitely far from 
realisation in the unhappy divisions of Christendom ? 
What, then, has brought about this linking of hearts 
and this demonstration of the possibility of Christian 
Union ? It has not come about as the result of any 
conference on the subject of the re-union of the churches, 
not as the outcome of the labours of a Select Committee, 
or any other Committee, but as the result of the working 
of the Spirit of God. There can be no other answer to 
this question, for no human agency could have brought 
about the same result. To those who have been on 
lookers from afar, to those who have been critics of the 
Keswick Convention, we commend the story which here 
is given of the growth of that movement which has pro 
foundly influenced the spiritual life of the people of this 
land, and which bears its fruit in every part of the world. 

This story is told in succeeding pages by some of those 
who actually took part in the meetings which led up to 
the foundation of the Keswick Convention, but reference 
must be made here to the Oxford Conference of 1874 to 
which the beginning of the Keswick Convention can 
definitely be traced. This Convention was presided over 
by Mr. Pearsall Smith, who with his gifted wife were 
chiefly responsible under God for the spirit of longing 
after a holy life which had profoundly affected the 
evangelical churches of that time, and in particular the 

17 C 

The Keswick Convention 

evangelical section of the Church of England, though he 
never took part in the Keswick Convention. 

Appended to the circular of invitation to the Con 
ference at Oxford which took place during vacation time 
from August 2Qth September 7th, 1874, were the 
following names : 

The Earl of Chichester. 

Lord Farnham. 

Sir Thomas Beauchamp, Bart. 

Right Hon. W. Cowper Temple, 


Samuel Morley, M.P. 
Hon. Arthur Kinnaird, M.P. 
Stephenson A. Blackwood, Esq. 
Henry Kingscote, Esq. 
Neville Sherbrooke, Esq. 
Charles Lloyd Braithwaite, Esq. 
G. Monod, Paris. 
Paul Kober Gobat, Bale, 


V. von Niebuhr, Halle, Germany. 
The Very Rev. the Dean of 


Rev. W. Hay Aitken, Liverpool. 
,, W. Arthur, London. 
W. E. Boardman. 
W. A. Chapman, London. 
A. M. W. Christopher, 



Thain Davidson, London. 

James Fleming, London. 

C. A. Fox, London. 

W. Haslam, London. 

E. P. Hathaway, lately of 


E. H. Hopkins, Richmond. 
Theodore Monod, Paris. 
E. W. Moore, London. 
S. C. Morgan, Roxeth. 
T. A. Nash, Norwich. 
J. Richardson, Camberwell. 
W. N. Ripley, Norwich. 
G. A. Rogers, Dover. 
G. Savage, Bexley. 
C. B. Snepp, Birmingham. 
Filmer Sullivan, Brighton. 
G. R. Thornton, Nottingham. 
H. Varley, London. 
A. Windle, Dublin. 
J. T. Wrenford, Newport, 


It is interesting to note the names of distinguished and 
yet godly laymen who prominently identified themselves 
with the Conference, Lord Mount Temple (as he was 
afterwards) being the generous host of the meetings at 
Broadlands Park which preceded the Oxford Conference, 
and Sir Arthur Blackwood being the one, as Mr. Hopkins 
points out, who suggested Oxford as a suitable place for 
the Conference. The Earl of Chichester, then President 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

of the Church Missionary Society, heads the list, though 
it was not for many years after that the teaching of 
Oxford and of Keswick influenced as it has done in later 
years the work of this Society. 

At the same time it was undoubtedly the evangelical 
clergy of the Church of England who were chiefly in 
fluenced in those early Conferences, and the origin of the 
Keswick Convention is due to the effect of the Oxford Con 
ference upon the life of one clergyman, Canon Harford- 
Battersby, who went away from that Conference with a 
life transformed and a shining face, as many have testified, 
and with the strong determination that his own people of 
Keswick, and of the North should share the same blessing 
which he had found. Thus it came about that the calling 
together of a little company at Keswick in 1875 led to 
the initiation of the annual Keswick Convention and that 
Canon Harford-Battersby became in the most natural 
way its first Chairman. 

After this lapse of time it would serve no useful 
purpose to describe the special difficulties which preceded 
the holding of the first Convention. Suffice it to say 
that the leaders who were to have taken part in the 
meetings were prevented from being present, and the 
conveners were thus led from the first in a very peculiar 
way to trust not in man but in God. This is told very 
graphically in the following paragraph from the pen of 
Canon Harford-Battersby describing the meetings : 
" The announcement, at the last moment almost, that 
those to whom we had looked for the chief guidance of 
the meetings could not attend, sent us, in a very urgent 
and expectant mood, to the throne of Grace, and we 
pleaded there, as the man in the parable (Luke xii. 5-8) 
did, with our Divine " Friend " for the help we so much 
needed. And He gave it. Other helpers came in answer 
to our telegrams, and their presence in the power of the 


The Keswick Convention 

Holy Ghost, who most manifestly spoke by their lips, 
fully supplied our need." This has been the character 
istic of the Keswick Convention from that day to this. 
Men and women being raised up, evidently called of God, 
to give the message of the Convention, and the supply 
has never failed. 

Prebendary Webb-Peploe is the only one of the present 
Keswick platform who took part in the first Keswick 
Convention, but others of the present speakers soon 
took their part, and by their means a continuity of 
teaching has been maintained which, in spite of many 
variations, is the same as that given at the Oxford 

It would be invidious to allude to the special part 
which those speakers have taken who are now the 
recognised leaders of the Convention, but most of these 
have contributed in one way or another to this volume. 
Dr. Elder Cumming has contributed some reminis 
cences of those leaders, who have finished their earthly 
course, and who were prominently connected with the 

It may, however, be worth while to state how it is that 
the different speakers have become identified with the 
Convention. Whether it was, as in the first instance, 
the personal invitation of the conveners, or in more 
recent years the Trustees of the Convention, only those 
are selected who know experimentally the great doctrine 
of sanctification by faith, and who have been used of God 
in bringing others into the enjoyment of this blessing. 
No one is invited to take part merely because of the 
position which he may hold as a religious teacher or 
preacher. Many of those who have been most promi 
nently used in helping others were formerly strongly 
opposed to the teaching of the Convention, but they have 
experienced for themselves the blessing which others had 


Its Message, its Method and its Men 

known before, and have been constrained to tell out the 
great things which the Lord has done for them. 

It is a remarkable fact that the speakers are drawn 
from all the principal Christian denominations, though at 
Keswick differences between Christians is kept out of 
sight, and the motto which is placed over the door of the 
tent is characteristic of the spirit of the meetings, "All 
one in Christ Jesus." 

Preliminary Stages 


By the Rev. Evan Hopkins 

Oh, the bitter shame and sorrow, 

That a time could ever be, 
When I let the Saviour s pity 
Plead in vain, and proudly answered 

" All of self and none of Thee," 
Cho. " All of self, and none of Thee." 

Yet He found me ; I beheld Him 

Bleeding on the cursed tree ; 
Heard Him pray, " Forgive them, Father," 
And my wistful heart said faintly 

" Some of self, and some of Thee." 
Cho. " Some of self, and some of Thee." 

Day by day His tender mercy, 
Healing, helping, full and free, 

Sweet and strong, and ah 1 so patient, 

Brought me lower while I whispered 
" Less of self, and more of Thee." 

Cho. " Less of self, and more of Thee." 

Higher than the highest heavens, 

Deeper than the deepest sea, 
Lord, Thy love at last hath conquered : 
Grant me now my soul s petition 

"None of self, and all of Thee." 
Cho. " None of self, and all of Thee." 


Preliminary Stages 

THE remarkable movement that has been going on 
in the Church of God, both at home and abroad 
for the last thirty years and more, in connection 
with the experience of a fuller spiritual life, did not have 
its rise in the Keswick Convention. 

The first Convention at Keswick was convened in July 
1875, but during the year 1873 small meetings were held 
in London, when great and definite blessings were 
realised by a few. Then followed larger gatherings, and 
in the year 1874 special Union Meetings for Consecration, 
for two or three days at a time, were held at the Mildmay 
Conference Hall, at Hanover Square Rooms, and in other 
places. Similar Conferences were held in Dublin, Man 
chester, Nottingham, and Leicester. On the Continent, 
too, meetings for the same purpose and on exactly 
similar lines were held and largely attended. 

The result was that very many of God s children both 
at home and abroad were brought to a deep sense of 
their need in the sphere of the practical life, and 
awakened to a more believing expectation that a truer 
and more triumphant life was possible. The spiritual 
up-lifting that so many experienced as the result of a 
clear and definite setting forth of the believer s present 
privileges, and the possibilities of faith, produced a 
profound impression upon Christians generally. So 
sudden and striking were the transformations that took 
place in the experiences and life of some of God s most 
earnest workers that even those who regarded the move- 

2 5 

The Keswick Convention 

ment with suspicion, were unable to gainsay the reality 
of the blessings that followed. 

In the summer of 1874 the first Convention at 
Broadlands was held. It had its origin in the desire 
that a number of young University men, who had 
found partial blessing in some meetings for consecration 
held at Cambridge during term time, should spend a 
few quiet days for prayer, meditation and dedication to 
God, in some secluded spot. This suggestion was made 
in the presence of the generous proprietor of Broad- 
lands Park, near Romsey the late Lord Mount Temple, 
who was then the Right Hon. W. Cowper-Temple. He 
at once said, " My place is at your service, if you will 
accept it." A more suitable place it would not be pos 
sible to find. The offer was accepted, and invitations 
were issued, being extended to others than under 
graduates. About a hundred persons in all attended 
this Conference for six days, from the I7th to the 23rd of 
July, ^1874. 

It is interesting to note the subjects which were 
selected as the main lines of this most unique gather 
ing : 

" The Scriptural possibilities of faith in the life of the 
Christian in the daily walk (a) as to maintained com 
munion with God ; and (b) as to victory over all known 
sin." These were the topics that were kept prayerfully 
and steadily in mind during these days of waiting upon 

The meetings were held beside the quiet flowing river 
that passes through the grounds, or under the beech 
trees, or in the orangery. Such was the absorbing 
interest felt by all, that no difficulty was found in gather 
ing the guests at seven o clock in the cool of the morning; 
and it was an effort to separate when the breakfast hour 
of nine came. At ten o clock conversational meetings 


Preliminary Stages 

were held, Bibles in hand, in different places through 
the grounds, and at eleven o clock the time was spent in 
prayer and praise, with short addresses. Meetings for 
ladies only were also arranged, and at three conversa 
tional meetings were held, followed by a general meeting 
at four. After tea Bible readings were given till the 
regular evening meeting. The manifested presence and 
power of God pervaded all these gatherings, and many 
stated that the long periods of silent prayer had been to 
them the most solemn and helpful seasons of their spiritual 

One wrote at the time as follows : " We began with 
the negative side renunciation of discerned evil, and 
even of doubtful doings which are not of faith, and there 
fore sin. For some days the company was held under 
the searching light of God, to see and to remove any 
obstacles to a divine communion, aught that frustrated 
the grace of God. We sought to have that which was 
true in God as to our judicial standing in a risen Christ, 
also true in personal appropriation and experience. Many 
secret sins, many a scarcely recognised reserve as to 
entire self renunciation, were here brought up into the 
light of consciousness and put away in the presence of 
the Lord. We desired to make thorough work, so as to 
have no known evil or self-will unyielded, and we have 
reason to hope that those present did so, and that we 
took the position of solemn purpose to renounce instantly 
everything in which we should find ourselves other 
wise minded as from time to time God shall reveal even 
this unto you. 

"In the intervals of the meetings it was interesting to 
see groups gathered in the more secluded places in the 
woods by the river on their knees praying, searching the 
Scriptures, or speaking earnestly to each other of the 
all-absorbing subject of the Convention. Some one had 


The Keswick Convention 

proposed to have readings at the meal times, so as to 
concentrate our minds, but no such plan was needed to 
keep the company even at times of refreshment to the 
one engrossing subject." 

In a letter received from Pasteur Theodore Monod at 
the time reference is made to this memorable occasion. An 
extract will be read now with interest : " The difference 
between those Broadland meetings and many others that 
I have attended is just the difference between a flower 
and the name of a flower. Christians too often meet 
only to talk about good and precious things : peace, joy, 
love, and so on, but there we actually had the very things 
themselves. I cannot be grateful enough to God for 
having led me into such a soul-satisfying and God- 
glorifying faith. I think I may say that I got all that I 
expected, and more. And I begin to suspect that we 
always get from God everything provided it be good 
for us that we ask for, expecting to get it. Oh, for self- 
forgetting faith, that I may have more and more, and 
more of it, and that the Church of Christ may cease to 
grieve Him, distress herself, and hinder the Coming ol 
His Kingdom by disobeying His word ! My French 
companions have all derived much benefit from the Con 
ference. God be praised for His work ! Never mind 
the world, nor the devil, so long as you have the sun 
shine of Jesus smile in your heart." 

It will interest many of our readers to know that the 
now well-known hymn " The Altered Motto " was 
written by our brother during those happy days at 

" Oh ! the bitter shame and sorrow 
That a time could ever be, 
When I let the Saviour s pity 
Plead in vain, and proudly answered, 
All of self and none of Thee. " 

Preliminary Stages 

A deeply interesting article was published a week before 
the Broadlands Conference by the same author, entitled 
" Seven Weeks of Trust," from which we learn that it 
was only a short time before the hymn was written that 
our brother entered into the " fulness of blessing." 

The account of the Broadlands Conference was read 
far and wide, and awakened considerable interest. Many 
who had never before attended any meetings of the kind 
were led to cry to God for the fulness of the Spirit, with 
an expectation and earnestness of desire they had never 
before known. 

It was at the close of the meetings at Broadlands that 
one made the remark : " We must repeat these meetings 
on a larger scale, when all who desire can attend." And 
one of the guests volunteered 500 towards the expenses 
of this effort. But none of his money was found to be 
necessary when the proposal was actually carried out in 
the Conference that followed. 

It was suggested by the late beloved Sir Arthur Black- 
wood, who was present at Broadlands, that this pro 
posed Convention should be held at Oxford during 
vacation time. 

This memorable Conference was accordingly held from 
August 2Qth to September 7th, 1874. So abundant were 
the offerings of the people on this occasion that large 
sums remained over and above the actual expenses to be 
devoted to the extension of the movement on the 

We give here a few extracts from the invitation to the 
" Oxford Union Meetings for the promotion of Scriptural 
Holiness " that was issued on the 8th August, 1874. And 
though the notice was so short, so widespread was the 
interest that very many amongst the most prominent of 
God s people responded to the call. A large and repre 
sentative number of clergy and ministers, together with 


The Keswick Convention 

laymen from all parts of the kingdom, as well as a great 
many pastors from the Continent, accepted the invitation 
and spent ten days in Prayer, Bible Reading, and 
Conference in the University City of Oxford. 

Space will not permit anything like a detailed account 
of this remarkable Conference. But a quotation from an 
able review that appeared in the Christian at the time will 
be read with special interest to-day : 

" God hath visited His people ! If any one had said 
a year ago that we should see, in the city of Oxford, an 
assembly of Christians, very largely composed of members 
of the Establishment and various Nonconforming bodies, 
and including twenty or thirty Continental pastors, 
gathered for the purpose of seeking, by mutual counsel 
and united prayer and consecration, to reach a higher 
condition of Christian life, it would have been considered 
far more devoutly to be wished than likely to occur. And if 
it had been added that we should see early morning meetings 
of nearly a thousand of these men and women, of all ranks 
in society, and of all denominations, gathered in prayer, 
and for the communication of their experiences in the 
divine life, clergymen and laymen standing up and declar 
ing what God had done for their souls, there would have 
been not a few to say, with the lord on whose hand the 
King of Israel leaned, If the Lord would open windows 
of heaven, might this thing be ? But God has opened 
the windows of heaven, and is pouring out a blessing 
that there shall not be room to receive it ! And not 
only so, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the 
world to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the 
weak things of the world to confound the things which are 
mighty; . . . that no flesh should glory in His presence. " 
* * * 

" We have attended many conferences, including a ten 
days convention in America, the prototype of that at 


Preliminary Stages 

Oxford, but in many respects this excelled them all. It 
is the fruit and flower of those which have gone before 
of those at Barnet, and Mildmay, and Perth, and other 
places at home, as well as of Mannheim, and Vineland, 
and Round Lake, in the United States. Conferences 
must be of another type henceforth. 

"If it be asked, What is the blessing? It is the 
blessedness of the man who maketh the Lord his trust, 
* whose strength is in Thee, of them who have not seen 
and yet have believed, who stand by night in the house of 
the Lord, trusting where they cannot see Him, who pre 
sent their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to 
God, their reasonable service, and who, doing this, are 
not conformed to this world, but are daily being trans 
formed by the renewing of their minds that they may 
know what that good and acceptable and perfect will of 
the Lord is." 

It was at the Oxford Conference that the late beloved 
Canon Harford-Battersby himself entered into " the rest 
of faith." But for this event the now well-known Keswick 
Convention would never have had a beginning. For 
fuller particulars we would refer our readers to the work 
published some years ago entitled " Canon Harford- 
Battersby and the Keswick Convention," edited by two 
of his sons (Seeley & Co.). 

Very soon after the Oxford Conference similar meetings 
on a smaller scale, but on exactly the same lines, were 
held at Stroud under the presidency of the late Mr. T. 
Croome a well-known and devoted Christian layman. 

It is interesting to note that at that time Prebendary 
Webb-Peploe was not amongst those who took part at 
such meetings, but was seen amongst the listeners. He 
had not been able to attend the Oxford Conference, and 
we think we are right in saying that it was only about this 
time that he himself definitely entered into the blessing 

The Keswick Convention 

of the more abundant life. The Cheltenham Conference 
followed immediately after the Stroud Convention, and 
it was there, that for the first time, our brother actually 
took part publicly in the movement. 

The next great series of meetings was the wonderful 
Brighton Convention, which was held in the Pavilion at 
Brighton, from May 2Qth to June 7th, 1875. There, 
some eight thousand people, the greater part earnest 
well-instructed Christians, met together for ten days in 
prayer and meditation and for the purpose of personal 
consecration to God. Addresses were given there during 
those days which live to this day in the memories of those 
who heard them, and have been the means of lasting 
blessing to thousands. 

Everywhere at home and abroad we come across 
the abiding fruits of this truly memorable gathering. It 
was at this Convention that Canon Battersby arranged for 
the first Convention at Keswick, to take place in the 
following month of July of that year 1875. 

Amongst those who was present at the Brighton Con 
vention was the gifted author of " Chronicles of the 
Schonberg Cotta Family," the late Mrs. Charles. The 
following suggestive thoughts were penned by her 
immediately after the Convention : 

" It is no new thing. Yet now it seems to me as if I 
had only half believed it. 

" I never believed in any Saviour but a Saviour from 
sin ; I never dreamed of any salvation, but a salvation 
from sin. Yet now, everything, every word of the Bible, 
every relation of human life, everything in nature old 
familiar hymns, the Creeds, the services of the Church, 
the Holy Communion glow, become translucent, with a 
new glory and significance. 

" I should not choose the phrase higher life. It 
seems to me the life ; the normal natural Christian life, 


Preliminary Stages 

which we all ought to be living, not merely a few of us ; 
which we ought to be living always and not merely now 
and then. 

" To walk in the light is surely the simple natural 
order it would seem almost the inevitable order of true 
Christian life. 

" Our Sun is not a Revolving Light, alternately bright 
and dark. Why should our path be through alternate 
streaks of light and shadow ? 

" It is simply, I think, the translation of the past and 
the future into the present : in other words, of then, and 
by-and-bye, into now ; of Time, with its alternations and 
its decadences, into the Eternal with its ever-living youth. 

" The tenses of the Christian life are not mere narrative 
tenses. They are perfect and present. 

" * Thou hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood ; and hast 
made us kings and priests. That is, we are redeemed, 
and do belong to God now; we are not our own, but His; 
dominion over sin is not a vague promise in the future, 
but a possibility and possession, now, in and through Him 
who lives in those who trust Him. The consecrated, 
sacrificial, sacerdotal life is not for a future age, or a 
limited number, but for the whole Church every moment 
now and for ever. 

" It is simply the translation of possibilities into acts. 
As Coleridge said, * To restore a common-place truth to 
its first uncommon lustre, you need only translate it into 
action. 1 

"That is: when the Master says Abide in Me we 
are not vaguely to reply Enable me to abide in Thee ; 
but I do abide in Thee ; not only I will far less 
I fear I shall not, but * Now, at this moment I do. 

" And the Master s response is, He that abideth in Me, 
and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. 

"The beneficences, and endurances, and sacrifices of the 

33 D 

The Keswick Convention 

believing obedient life are not constructed painfully as 
works, but spring forth naturally as fruits. 

" As Alexander Knox said : From the sentence in the 
Litany l That we may diligently live after Thy command 
ments, which is much, we should go on to the following 
petition, for increase of grace to hear meekly Thy word, 
and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth 
the fruits of the Spirit, which is more. 

" It is not Without Me ye can do but little, but 
without Me, ye can do nothing. 

" It is not That ye may have a little broken interrupted 
joy, but That My joy may abide in you ; and that your 
joy may be /#//. 

" And then, if we continue, as we continue beholding 
Jesus, the Spirit Who manifests Him will reveal depth 
after depth in Him ; the Babe in the Manger, the Child 
subject to His parents, coming not to be ministered 
unto, but to minister, obedient unto death, even the 
death of the Cross. 

" This is the Christ who lives in Christians. This is the 
life which through His disciples He would manifest to the 
world, that the world may believe, Holy, Immaculate, 
patient Lamb of God, to each one of us, can it indeed be 
possible that Thou hast committed this, even this ? To 
manifest Thee, by our living, by Thy life in us ! 

" Can it indeed be true that Thou hast not only promised, 
but commanded this ? For Thy command seems to me to 
involve, if possible, even a stronger assurance than Thy 

" Tremendous responsibility, unutterable blessed possi 
bilityto manifest Thee ! " 


Early Keswick Conventions 


(A) By the Rev. Preb. H. Webb Peploe, 


(B) By the Rev. E, W, Moore, M.A. 

I have known and valued the Keswick Convention since the year 

The truth brought out in various forms is the life of peace, joy, and 
victory upon which Christians can enter, and in which they can be 
kept by full surrender and faith in Christ. It is summed up in the 
lines : 

" Christ without our safety, 
" Christ within our joy ! " 

Not only Christ without, but Christ within. Col. i. 27 
Eph. iii, 17. Christ within to apply to us by the Holy Spirit His 
finished work on the Cross ; to manifest Himself in the study of the 
Word ; to cleanse us from sin, and keep us cleansed ; to fill us 
continually out of His fulness ; to enable us to identify ourselves 
with Himself on the Cross ; to keep self in the dust of death ; to use 
us as, and when, and where He pleases. 

This is the great Message of Keswick, and this has brought life 
and joy and peace to thousands. It has introduced a fresh era into 
missionary work, many of the missionaries through receiving the 
Message having entered into newness of life. Francis Paynter. 

Early Keswick Conventions 

GREAT issues flow from small beginnings, and those 
who now contemplate with amazement and awe the 
gatherings of thousands at the great Keswick Con 
vention can hardly perhaps understand or appreciate from 
whence these mighty assemblies sprang. To one who 
saw, and took part in the first Keswick Convention has 
been accorded the holy privilege (I will not say duty 
unless my readers will carefully think of this word as 
meaning only " that which is due from one to others") of 
telling a little of what took place in those memorable 
days, and how from the loving invitations of one man to 
his friends and parishioners to come and hear what the 
Lord Jesus could be and do for the true believer, have 
gradually come (in the magnificent goodness cf God) the 
solemn assemblies which are now seen year after year, 
filling two great tents, from early morning till night, 
throughout the whole of the last week of July, and drink 
ing in "the words of Life" as God gives them to His 

The first gathering in Keswick, under the title of " A 
Convention," began on Monday, July 28th, 1875, and its 
origin may perhaps be thus described. 

In September, 1874, there had been held in Oxford the 
first great Convention on " Holiness," which was 
attended by (I believe) about 1,000 persons, almost 
everyone of whom seemed to receive distinct spiritual 
blessing ; and it was at that holy gathering that the late 
Canon Battersby was led to trust the gracious Saviour 


The Keswick Convention 

with wonderful new Light, and with a joy of soul that 
demanded confession and open manifestation of the bless 
ing received. But though so many had received special 
help at the Oxford Convention, the teaching there given 
was not allowed to pass unchallenged ; and I can 
remember, with pain, how not only the godless but the 
greatest Leaders and Teachers of Evangelical Truth 
thought it their duty to oppose to the utmost what they 
considered "very dangerous Heresy" that Christ could 
keep His people from every known sin, and that according 
to our faith it would be unto us in this as in regard to our 
original salvation. The fact was that they did not know 
what was really being taught by sober, earnest, and 
spiritually minded, men ; and they only formed their 
opinions from certain mistaken reports which were 
promulgated in the columns of some of the weekly- 
papers. The result was (as w r e some of us remember 
with pain) that when in the autumn of 1874 meetings 
were organised in different parts of the country to 
further the good work that had been begun at the Oxford 
Convention the Evangelical Leaders of that day felt it 
their duty to oppose what they believed to be a false 
doctrine of " Perfection in man." The teaching was simply 
that which is now everywhere received as the complement 
of that Gospel which tells of a free and full salvation in 
Christ, and which makes our blessed Saviour not only a 
perfect atonement for sin, but also a keeper for those who 
trust Him up to the measure of their light and knowledge, 
not only of their own need, but of Jesus Christ as their 
" Life." This, we need hardly say, was never for one 
moment intended (by those who were rightly instructed, 
and were the real leaders of the movement) to be a teach 
ing of "sinless perfection in man"! On the contrary, 
it was always most carefully guarded by an insistence on 
the fact that sin remains in us to the last, and that 


Early Keswick Conventions 

though Christ will by His Holy Spirit s power keep the 
true believer moment by moment from falling into known 
and unknown sins, yet that every thought, word, and deed 
of the Christian to the last moment on earth is 
tainted by the fact of indwelling sin or corruption, and 
that therefore the blood of Christ is needed, every 
moment of our lives, to cleanse us from guilt and keep us 
acceptable in the sight of the Holy God. Never I 
believe was the solemn meaning or force of i John i. 8, 
9, 10, at any time forgotten or put aside by the real 
leaders of what is sometimes called "The Keswick Move 
ment." The term is a false and unmeaning one really, 
for the " Movement " was nothing less than the gracious 
working of the Holy Spirit, to rouse the Church of God 
to a greater realization of the " Rest " which God would 
give to all true believers in Christ, not only from fret, and 
fear, and folly, but from all known and actual sins and 
that the Church should realize and exhibit to the world 
what is really meant (in spiritual things) by " entering 
into the promised land" (Heb. iii, iv). 

Surely, no well-instructed Christian of our day, who 
heard the teaching which I have briefly depicted, would 
think of condemning it as opposed to God s Truth, and 
yet it is only some twenty-eight, or twenty-nine, years ago 
that, when I had been asked to set forth " Keswick teach 
ing " before some fifty or sixty evangelical clergy and I 
had heartily responded to the invitation, explaining from 
Rom. vi.-viii., from i Cor. x. 13, and from 2 Cor. xii. 9, 
guarded carefully by i John i. 8, 9, the blessed keeping 
power and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ for His 
people the chairman of the meeting (himself perhaps the 
very centre of Evangelical Churchmanship) rose as soon 
as I had finished my address, and said: "Heresy! 
Heresy ! ! Damnable Heresy ! I hold that it is for the 
glory of God that we should fall into sin, that He may get 


The Keswick Convention 

honour to Himself by drawing us out of it " ! Thank 
God ! further light was very soon given to the earnest, 
but misinformed, leaders of that last generation ; and for 
the honour of our Lord and the good fame of the 
brethren, I may mention that each of the three great 
leaders, who most determinedly opposed the movement at 
first, afterwards invited me, as an exponent of Keswick 
teaching, to conduct missions, or to take special services 
in their parishes, and that, in each case, I was permitted 
to do what they asked, and to have these honoured fathers 
sitting humbly in their own parish churches, and listening 
earnestly, while I set forth " the unsearchable riches of 
Christ." I only mention this fact to show, how much of 
prejudice had to be overcome before the glorious Gospel 
of a keeping Saviour could be welcomed even by those 
who had long been teachers of the great truth of justi 
fication by faith," but who, if I understand the difference 
rightly, seemed to think that human effort was the chief 
element in sanctification. Of course this human effort is 
demanded, but what is taught at Keswick and other similar 
Conventions is that Christ keeps His faithful servant from 
falling, moment by moment, according to the exercise of 
faith following the teaching of such passages as 2 Pet. 
I, 10 and St. Jude 24 (where the same word, which really 
means "stumbling," is given as "falling" in each of the 
two verses). The immediate result of the Oxford Con 
vention was that, in the autumn of 1874 several smaller 
Conventions were held, in some of which I was permitted 
to take part, and with very blessed and beautiful results. 
These were followed by clerical meetings, &c., in which 
strong opposition was shown to what was often called 
" Pearsall-Smithism " or " Sinless Perfection," and at a 
great gathering in June, 1875, a leading evangelical clergy 
man spoke on " Holiness by Faith : Are recent statements 
according to Scripture ? " and very strongly reprobated 


Early Keswick Conventions 

the whole movement as contrary to God s Word ! Yet 
only a few years later that very same brother invited me 
to take a mission in a most important parish and town. 

It was in June, 1875, that the great Brighton Conven 
tion was held, at which it was said that 8,000 people were 
present. Only those who had the privilege of attending 
those " Ten-day Meetings " can in any way appreciate 
the marvellous blessing that was given. There may, of 
course, have been some mistakes, and some erroneous 
doctrines put forward, for men were almost excitedly 
looking for light ; but on the whole it may be safely 
affirmed that the Lord overruled those gatherings to give 
wonderful results. 

It was as the outcome of that Convention that the late 
Canon Battersby, the honoured and much-loved Vicar of 
St. John s, Keswick, felt impelled to invite a number of 
friends to go to Keswick for a week of Holiness Meetings, 
and the intention was that Mr. Pearsall Smith should be 
the leader thereat. Canon Battersby was to be helped in 
all the details and arrangements of the meetings by his 
true and powerful coadjutor, Mr. Robert Wilson. But 
man proposes and God disposes ; and so, when June 28th 
came, and the meetings were to commence, Mr. Pearsall 
Smith was ill and could not go to Keswick at all ; and 
from that time he retired altogether from the leadership 
of Conventions, and other men had to be upraised of God. 

On arriving in Keswick we went straight to the Tent, 
which had in it a gathering of 300 or 400 people. Canon 
Battersby was, of course, the leader, and director, while 
Mr. Robert Wilson, with wonderful self-denial, undertook 
all the arrangements connected with the Tent and other 
secular matters. During the following days of the Con 
vention our numbers may have reached at some meetings 
as many as 600 ; but of the great gatherings now expected 
we knew nothing then. I had only gone as a listener, 

The Keswick Convention 

but like others found myself called to speak almost all 
day long, owing to the absence of those who had been 
expected as leaders. The programme of the meetings, as 
issued at the time, was as follows : 


Keswick, June 28 July 2, 1875. 

Monday, June 28th, 
Prayer Meeting, 7.30 p.m. Marquee, 
Daily Meetings, June 29th. July ist. 

7.0 to 8.30 o clock. Marquee. 
Before Breakfast. Prayer Meeting. 

8.30 to 9.30 o clock. Breakfast. 
9.45 to 11.15 o clock. Conversational Side Meetings- 

St. John s Girls and Infant Schools. 
Rev. G. R. Thornton, Rev. H. Webb-Peploe, 
Mr. H. F. Bowker, Rev. T. Phillips. 

Lecture Hall of the Keswick Library, 

For Ladies Only. 

11.45 to 1.30 o clock. Marquee. 

General Meeting. Prayer and Addresses. 

1.30 to 3.0 o clock. Dinner. 

3.0 to 4.0 o clock. 

Prayer Meeting. St. John s Infant Schoolroom. 
Service of Song. Rev. J. Mountain, Marquee- 

4.0 to 5.15 o clock. Marquee. 
General Meeting. Prayer and Addresses. 

5.15 to 6.15 o clock. Tea. 
6.15 to 7.30 o clock. Marquee. 

Ministerial Testimonies. 

7.30109.0 o clock. Marquee. 

General Meeting. Prayer and Addresses. 

Friday, July 2nd, 
Prayer and Praise Meeting, 7.0 a.m. 

and all that the speakers knew of " preparation times " 
was that, after long and earnest prayer, in Canon Bat- 
tersby s house at night, he would apportion next day s 
work and say to each one, " Will you take this ? " and 
" Will you take that ? " No one thought of questioning 


Early Keswicfc Conventions 

his appointment, but took it as being directly " of the 
Lord." The chief speakers at that first Convention were 
the Rev. George Thornton, Mr. H. Bowker, Mr. T. M. 
Croome, Mr. Shipley (an American), and myself. For 
two or three hours each day, one was occupied with 
answering questions, which were openly propounded in the 
class-rooms of the schools, or sent up in writing to the 
platform of the Tent ; and this part of our work was very 
wearying, but exceedingly profitable, and it might with 
advantage be much more used now. Nothing can be 
imagined more simple, or more " unconventional," than 
the arrangements of that first holy meeting at Keswick. 

The second Convention in that town began on July 
3ist, 1876, when the opening meeting was addressed by 
Canon Battersby and the Rev. Evan Hopkins. About 
400 were present that night, and perhaps 600 to 700 at 
some later meetings of the Convention. The speakers of 
that year were chiefly the Rev. Evan Hopkins, the Rev. 
R. B. Girdlestone, the Rev. Thompson Phillips, the Rev. 
J. B. Figgis and myself, with Mr. Bowker, and Mrs. 
Johnson of America, besides Canon Battersby, who of 
course took a leading part as the Vicar, and as Chairman 
of the Convention. It was during that year s gatherings 
that our Tent was blown down in the night, and Mr. 
Wilson gave up the whole night to preparing the Drill 
Hall for our 7 a.m. meeting. His generalship was 
remarkable, and we were all most deeply indebted to him 
for his labour of love. The result was, however, some 
what trying for us speakers, especially for Mr. Hopkins 
and myself, as we had to rush from the Drill Hall to the 
Lecture Hall, and vice versa, all day long, repeating our 
addresses alternately in each of these places ; but the 
Convention, in those days, closed before the end of the 
week ; and so one could get away on Friday, and prepare 
for one s home work on the Sunday ; and it might be 


The Keswick Convention 

well perhaps for some of us, if the same custom prevailed 

Wonderful indeed were the spiritual results in those 
earlier Conventions ; and one sometimes is led to yearn 
for the simple delight that was manifested, as the truth of 
Christ s keeping, and peace-giving power, was appre 
hended by hungry and thirsty souls. 

May Keswick Conventions never become formal ; but be 
ever more and more owned of God, for the up-lifting of 
souls into the true, and joyful, life of a believer in Christ. 

I may not now write concerning the later Conventions : 
Other brethren have undertaken that holy privilege and 
duty : but I would simply, in closing, express my humble 
astonishment, and awe, at the great things which the 
Lord of Hosts has done in that consecrated place; and 
pray that His mighty power and love may be ever more 
and more seen, working with even greater force and beauty 
than in the past, and that every Convention that is held 
in Keswick may be far better than the preceding one. 
Thus shall the Lord Jesus be truly honoured as our 
Saviour, and men shall rejoice in the loving kindness of 
their gracious God. 



TO give, as I have been asked to do, a brief sketch of 
the early days of the Keswick movement is to 
awaken memories of half a life-time. For, if I 
may be permitted the statement, my first acquaintance 
with Keswick teaching began long before the Keswick 
Convention itself was thought of. Shall I ever forget 
the meeting in London on May ist, 1873, attended 
by about sixteen persons, five or six of whom remain 
unto this present, but the rest are fallen asleep, 
at which a servant of Christ arose, and instead of, 
as I feared, propounding some " new theology," 
gave the simple testimony that "a great blessing had 
come into his life through deep searchings of the heart." 
Simple as the testimony was, it proved quick and 
powerful to some who heard it, and from that little 
meeting, as from an obscure source and spring, the stream 
of Keswick teaching and influence, which has gone round 
the world since then, may truly be said to have taken its 
rise. I was not at the first Keswick Convention, sum 
moned by the revered Canon Battersby (after the wonderful 
Oxford gathering of September, 1874, and the Brighton 
meeting in the spring of 1875) in July of the latter year. 
But the next meeting I well remember in 1876, when 
the tent, crowded at the early seven o clock prayer-meet 
ing in pouring rain, gave me my first impression of the 
earnestness of the people. 

Since then how many solemn assemblies have been 
held at Keswick. The most fruitful, so far as my 
experience goes, was the Convention of 1884. Only the 
other day one of God s best known servants across the 
border (Mr. J. G. Govan) referred, in a periodical which 


The Keswick Convention 

he edits, to that meeting as memorable in its issues for 
Scotland as well as England. The definite old-fashioned 
testimony of the eighteenth century revival, to heart 
purification by faith as a distinct experience subsequent 
to conversion, had been given from the platform and its 
echoes borne far away by the Breath of the Spirit, 
awakened response in hearts and lives and service for 
God elsewhere. Different stages there are and must be 
in the apprehension of believers of heavenly things, and 
as their experience so will be their testimony. But if I 
am asked the raison d etre for Keswick I can only reply 
that so far as I am concerned the teaching stands for that 
deep heart-searching experience depicted in the sixth 
chapter of Isaiah, where the prophet, already the accepted 
servant of Jehovah, is convicted as he comes up into the 
Holy Presence of his own need of a deeper work of 
sanctification in his soul. Overwhelmed by the vision of 
the Divine Purity and contrasting with it his own 
unworthiness, he cries in his agony " Woe is me, I am 
undone," or, in Pauline language, " Who shall deliver me 
from the body of this death," and in that hour of deep 
humiliation and confession there comes upon his heart 
the touch of FIRE ; the flame from the altar consumes 
the filthiness out of him, he is " purified outward to the 
lips," and as the sound of the Master s voice, " Whom 
shall I send and who will go for us," falls on that cleansed 
ear there comes the glad response, " Here, Lord," if 
you can make anything of such a poor instrument as I 
am. " Here am I, send me." 

What is Keswick ? I have sometimes been asked. Is 
it a great missionary meeting ? No, I always reply, it 
is not a missionary meeting, although for many years now 
missionary operations have been given a large place in its 
programme. But Keswick, rightly understood, is not 
a missionary meeting. It is a meeting for making mis- 

Early Keswick Conventions 

sionaries. And I do not hesitate to say that wherever its 
truths are really known, in other words, wherever Christ 
comes into full possession of a human soul, there you 
will find a missionary whether his work lie in the 
East of London or the West, in Europe or in Africa, at 
home or abroad. If these lines should fall into the hands 
of a stranger to Keswick Convention and its teaching, let 
me advise him to put its influence to the test of a personal 

The great annual gatherings differ no doubt as all 
anniversaries will do from each other in their measure of 
power and blessing. But no one I make bold to say 
can go to Keswick in the spirit of prayer and faith with 
out finding it good to be there. 

It is not a religious picnic. It is a time of earnest 
waiting upon God. It has often been a time of trans 
figuration both for life and service to those who have 
attended it. Its privileges are great. Its responsibilities 
are greater still. But the best of all is that the superscrip 
tion on its assemblies is the superscription of the City of 


"Jehovah Shammah." 

" The Lord is there." 



The Founders and Some 
of the Leaders 


By the Rev. J. Elder dimming, D.D, 

Thou sweet, beloved will of God, 
My anchor ground, my fortress hill, 

My spirit s silent, fair abode, 
In Thee I hide me, and am still. 

O Will, that wiliest good alone, 

Lead Thou the way, Thou guidest best : 

A little child, I follow on, 

And, trusting, lean upon Thy breast. 

Thy beautiful sweet will, my God, 
Holds fast in its sublime embrace 

My captive will, a gladsome bird, 
Prisoned in such a realm of grace. 

Within this place of certain good 
Love evermore expands her wings, 

Or nestling in Thy perfect choice, 
Abides content with what it brings. 

Oh, lightest burden, sweetest yoke ! 

It lifts, it bears my happy soul, 
It giveth wings to this poor heart ; 

My freedom is Thy grand control. 

Upon God s will I lay me down, 
As child upon its mother s breast ; 

No silken couch, nor softest bed, 
Could ever give me such deep rest. 

Thy wonderful grand will, my God, 
With triumph now I make it mine ; 

And faith shall cry a joyous "Yes ! " 
To every dear command of Thine. 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

part of this volume which has been entrusted 

Ito me is a short memorial sketch of the Founders 
and some of the Leaders of the Keswick Convention 
who are now no more. My own memories and associa 
tions do not go back to the opening in the year 1875. My 
first year was 1882. But I was from that date brought 
into close contact with those who were then conducting 
the Convention. I enjoyed the intimate friendship of those 
men. And I have, thank God ! never missed a year at 
Keswick since, besides having been present at more local 
conventions than I can count, from Aberdeen to Brighton, 
and from Cork to Belfast. 

The Founder and first Chairman was the Rev. Canon 
T. D. Harford-Battersby,* Vicar of St. John s, Keswick. 
As we shall see, Canon Battersby had a lieutenant and 
successor to whom we all owe much, the late Mr. Robert 

Canon Battersby was a strong Evangelical, who had 
reached his doctrinal position through some suffering and 
trial ; and it is not to be wondered at, that for a time he 
was rather afraid of the spiritual movement and its teach 
ing. Some addresses had been given at Silloth, where the 
Canon was resting with his family (I think in the 

* The family name was Harford, to which Battersby was added by 
his father ; the latter surname has now been dropped by most of his 
descendants, who are to be known as Harford Q*&y ; but to some of 
us the old name is dear, and the associations which gathered round 
it are not to be moved. 


The Keswick Convention 

summer of 1874) ; and with some of the expressions in 
these he could not agree. He was, however, persuaded to go 
to the Convention which met at Oxford in August, and 
there something happened which meant much for many of 
us. A connection of his own (a Missionary lady from 
India) told me the story. In the early part of the Con 
ference she was disturbed by some of the teaching, and 
went to her relative for guidance, who assured her 
that the teaching was one-sided and exaggerated, and that 
she had better put it aside. But towards the end of the 
Convention, she was passing him in the street with a 
friend, when he stopped her, to take back entirely what 
he had said before, and to say that he since had received a 
wonderful blessing which seemed to change his whole 
position. We have in his own words a statement of what 
had happened ; and we have in the Oxford Convention 
Report, the very words which came home to him so power 
fully and so blessedly. Here are the words spoken by 
Mr. Evan Hopkins, as reported (" Oxford Union Meeting," 
p. 113) : " In the story of the nobleman, John iv. 46-50, 
we have an illustration of seeking faith and resting faith. 
We see him first coming to the Lord Jesus with a faith 
that led him to seek, but not a faith that enabled him to 
rest. He has a want. He carries a burden. Come 
down ere my child die ! Go thy way, thy son liveth ! 
But when the word was spoken, Go thy way, thy son 
liveth !, at once he loses his burden, his heart is satisfied, 
and his faith passes from seeking to resting ! He did not 
rest on a sign, or an emotion, or an experience, but on the 
word of Jesus ; and the man believed the word that Jesus 
had spoken unto him, and he went his way. He was 
perfectly satisfied that the cure had been effected. He 
acted as if he saw ! So let us rest in the promises of God. 
Not merely ask, but believe that we have the petitions that 
we desire of Him." 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

Such were the words : let us be thankful that we have 
them still. And here also (page 174 of the same Report) 
is the testimony given by Canon Battersby two days after 
wards. " It was when I heard a dear brother clergyman 
speak of the faith of the nobleman whose son was 
healed, that the truth flashed upon my mind, and after 
ward God enabled me to trust and make a full surrender. 
It is a difficult thing to speak of my own experience, and 
very distasteful, yet perhaps for this very reason it may 
be right for one to do so, and to acknowledge the blessing 
I have received." Yes, personal testimony is often 
demanded by God as the seal of a blessing, and as a real 
preparation for farther usefulness. He who is not willing 
to make the little sacrifice which it demands, how shall 
he make the much more difficult sacrifices which are 
involved in teaching and in living the life of Holiness ? 
Canon Battersby s voice was the last heard at the Oxford 
Convention. Here is the Report : " Canon Battersby 
requested those present to rise, and join him in repeating 
together 2 Thess. i. 3 and iii. 16, * We are bound to thank 
God always for you, brethren, because that your faith 
groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you 
all toward each other aboundeth. Now the Lord 
of Peace give you peace, always, by all means. The Lord 
be with you all. With these words the Oxford Conference 
ended." (p. 325.) 

Such is the record of the change in dear Canon 
Battersby s heart and life. He had been a Christian for 
many years, but this was something more. And what 
happened ? Within a week, he was home at Keswick. 
There was due shortly afterwards the Annual Meeting of 
the Evangelical Union of the Diocese of Carlisle (29th 
September, 1874), where some leading clergy were to 
attend who had been strongly if not bitterly opposed to the 
" Holiness Teaching," as it was called. The Canon was 


The Keswick Convention 

secretary to the Union, and he wrote a paper telling of 
his change and his Blessing. An attack of sickness pre 
vented him from being present, but the paper was read by 
a friend, and gave a full account of the teaching at Oxford. 
He was now fully and publicly committed : there was no 
hesitation or going back. The first Keswick Convention 
met on Tuesday, June 29th, 1875, for " three days," the 
circular being signed by Canon Battersby and Mr. Robert 
Wilson. Of all the speakers who took part, and are now 
to be found at Keswick, only Prebendary Webb-Peploe 
remains. Others joined immediately thereafter, and are 
still well known among us. A few whose names were con 
nected with the Oxford and Brighton meetings do not 
now take any part. I have the copy in MS. of a letter 
written by Canon Battersby 7th July, 1875, giving a short 
account of the first Convention. He says in it : " We have 
had a time of extraordinary blessing. More, far more, 
than our weak faith enabled us to grasp beforehand. The 
Lord stood by me and helped me, I can truly say for my 
self; and He was very present with our dear friends 
Thornton and Peploe, whose words were with great power. 
Mr. Bowker and Mr. Shipley helped us much, and Mrs. 
Compton s meetings with the ladies were inexpressibly 

blessed, as I hear All I think agreed that we 

had the Presence of the great Paraclete in greater fulness 
than at any former meeting. I can only account for it by 
the fact that we were so entirely thrown upon the Lord. 
It has been a lesson of great value to myself, and my faith 
has been much strengthened in consequence. I could, if 
there were leisure to write, tell you of many, many most 
blessed proofs of God s power and grace unto us. I can 
feel something of what David says (Ps. xxxv. 28), As for 
my tongue, it shall be talking of Thy righteousness and 
Thy praise all the day long. 

So it began ; and for seven years more (1875-1882) Canon 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

Battersby was Chairman, holding the helm. It was in that 
last and closing year that I made his acquaintance and 
paid my first visit to Keswick. I remember his sermon in 
St. John s on the opening Sunday, on the 7th chapter of 
Romans. I remember some of his short but glowing 
words spoken from the chair. I saw something of the 
home life at the vicarage. Most of all I remember his 
face, which continually brings back to me the language 
of Acts vi. 15, they " saw his face as it had been the face of 
an angel" No other face I have ever seen has expounded 
for me that verse ; but his did ! It showed at once that 
there was something there, which told its own tale. 

During the same year (1882) I went to the small Con 
vention at Polmont, where Mr. Bowker presided. We 
also held a large meeting at Glasgow, where Canon 
Battersby was present, so that in Scotland the movement 
was fairly begun, and had taken hold. In 1883 we 
gathered again at Keswick, the first year I spoke there ; 
but the news met us at the station on Monday that 
Canon Battersby had died that morning. What a shock 
it was ! What a sermon ! What a teaching, that this 
work was not to stand in the power or wisdom of men ! 
What a lesson, if we could learn it, that God was 
sufficient, and that God was alone ! And all through 
the Convention, over which dear Mr. Bowker was Chair 
man, the shadow of the grave, dark, sad, but tender and 
impressive, was upon us all. 

Mr. Bowker was for several years both at Keswick and 
at the provincial gatherings, the recognised Chairman. 
He was a man of great vigour of mind, who had long 
been the head of one of the great Educational institutions; 
and although we used to say with a laugh, that we seemed 
still to be his " sixth-form boys," we owed him a great debt 
for his continuous and watchful labours in and outof season. 
In him, too, grace had a victory. I remember a group 


The Keswick Convention 

of us speakers dining with him in London ; and seeing a 
large portrait of him taken some years before, I said, 
privately, to dear Mr. Fox, that I had never seen a more 
remarkable change of expression and of Christian growth 
than in the comparison between the face of the portrait 
and that which we saw in our still living friend, a remark 
with which he quite agreed. In private, Mr.; Bowker 
was a most interesting man. One story I remember 
which he told. He had dined (at Carlisle, I think) in a 
small company which included, among other remarkable 
people, Lord Brougham. A question arose as to what 
Great Britain owed her greatness. Brougham evaded 
the question himself, but referred to Mr. Bowker for his 
opinion. He answered, " It is to her possession of the 
Word of God, in the English Bible." Brougham bowed 
his head, and added " I should not wonder if you be 
correct ! " 

The name of the Rev. Charles A. Fox has already 
occurred ; and it is with a full heart that I write it, and 
trust myself to say a few words concerning one of 
the best and dearest men I have ever known. He was 
the poet of the Convention, perhaps the only man on the 
platform who was an orator, and one of the sweetest and 
truest of friends. I have sheaves of his post-cards (his 
favourite postal medium), and many of his letters, in 
poetry and prose ; some in joy and redolent of humour, 
some in deep anxiety and sorrow ; and one at least after 
the shadow of death had already reached him in the great 
suffering of his latter months! Nobody touched hearts 
more truly by exposing his own. The tremulous tender 
ness of his soul when he opened up the depths was the 
revelation of an inner man ! Certainly, I have never 
known any case in which the joyous fun of a strong man 
was so absolutely in harmony with Christian feeling. 

He had one physical difficulty which went with him all 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

through his ministry, but was often unnoticed and to 
many unknown. It was a nervous stammer which attacked 
him without warning, and accompanied the expression of 
any feeling which touched him deeply. It had the 
strange power of specially affecting his reading of the 
liturgy, so much so that latterly he almost never 
attempted to do so. I had previously dealt with this 
trouble in others, not unsuccessfully, and at an early 
period of our friendship had spoken to him on the sub 
ject. Though very sensitive about it, this was one of 
the things which drew us closer together, and he once 
told me that when before the Bishop for examination 
for Deacon s orders, he was refused on the ground that 
the stammer was so bad. But at the time he boldly 
faced it in God s strength, and the Bishop proceeded, 
leaving the responsibility to Fox. He told me how 
often it attacked him in public ; how he met it in faith ; 
and how the only physical relief was obtained by 
throwing out his arms, in the fashion of the orator. 
So that often when we thought him most carried away 
by his feelings, he was righting his defeat. Thus was 
he reminded continually that he was made strong " out 
of weakness." Though apparently a strong, even a very 
strong, man, there were often things which led one to 
question his health. A railway journey was always a 
trouble, and latterly a serious one, apparently jarring 
the nervous system. And all at once, a discovery was 
made, on a visit to Scotland, that very serious evil was 
present in the face, and that an operation was inevitable. 
It was the beginning of an awful eight months, which 
framed a long death-bed experience, of agony. Even 
it was turned into spiritual teaching, and poetry. He 
found traces that the Master had trodden a similar 
road. " The face that was more marred than any 
man s" brought Him nearer than before, who "bore 


The Keswick Convention 

our griefs and carried our sorrows." " The Marred 
Face " is the title of one of the most touching sonnets 
ever written. It was the Face of the Master; and it 
was the Face of this, His disciple. Here are the 
words, which no one will read without great feeling ; 
but only those who know the last few months of Charles 
Fox s life will see the depths which lay beneath : 


Marred more than any man s ! Yet there s no place 
In this wide Universe but gains new grace 
Richer and fuller, from that marred Face ! 

O Saviour Christ ! those precious wounds of Thine 
Make doubly precious these poor wounds of mine ; 
Teach me to die with Thee the Death Divine ; 

All wounds and woes of earth, once made Thine Own, 
Add colour to the Rainbow round the Throne, 
And save from loneliness saints else alone. 

Pain trims the lamps at Nature s eventide, 
Ere the King enters to bring home His Bride, 
My King, by suffering perfected and tried ! 

Beloved ones are hastening past, and all 

The ground is strewn with blossoms they let fall 

In haste to gain Love s C rowning festival. 

Heaven beckons now I press me toward the mark 
Of my high calling. Hark ! He calls ! Oh ! hark ! 
That wounded Face moves toward me through the dark ! 

Another name which I have been asked not to omit is 
that of George MacGregor. At no time has the number of 
Scotchmen on Keswick platforms been great ; and to 
find there the name of a young Free Church minister, 
and of one born and bred in the Highlands, and in " the 
Black Isle " above all, astonished not a few who knew. 
He came there a young man I heard the story from his 
own lips. At the first Aberdeen Convention Mr. Evan 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

Hopkins and I were living together, and early in the 
week came Mr. MacGregor to spend an afternoon with 
us in our hospitable quarters. I forget what took him to 
Keswick at first ; but the argument which he afterwards 
used to induce his brother ministers of the Presbytery to 
attend there was that the week would furnish them with 
a full six-month list of new texts and of fresh light upon 
them, a circumstance which none of them would despise ! 
Then he told us how deeply he had himself been impressed 
and convicted, spending, I think, almost a sleepless night 
in mourning before God, recalling past thoughts and 
stories heard by him which Satan had prepared before 
hand to tempt and injure him as long as he lived. He 
told how all had been cast on God, and how the personal 
experience of Canon Battersby had gone home to the 
quick. From that time on to the close of his short life 
he did noble service. His early training in the High 
lands fitted him for very special influence among men of 
his own Church and class. He had one of the most 
patient intellects, which was never satisfied till he had 
gone step by step through a difficult question, never 
shirking a difficulty. I remember a long talk for two 
hours in my own Glasgow house, where I went under a 
cross-examination on a branch of the subject, such as 
perhaps I never passed through before or since. And on the 
last occasion of our meeting when, at Ballater, he took 
tea with us and I went on over the hill with him towards 
Braemar, we had another of those deep and careful 
theological talks, of which he was so fond. I saw the 
MS. of his first book before it was sent to the Press, and 
have a most interesting letter on the subject ; and time 
after time heard his searching, simple, but solemn and 
powerful addresses. The " Memoir " does not, in my 
opinion, do justice to this side of his character and 
influence. Even his books do not quite do him justice. 


The Keswick Convention 

But a selection of his addresses, could it be still given, 
would be well worth printing. It is one of the events in 
Providence which we fail fully to understand, that such a 
man should be taken after so short a career. I fear that 
" overwork " was here again the temptation which a 
zealous spirit could not resist ! He died in 1900, on the 
3rd of May, at the age of 36, after a twelve years 
ministry, and was heard on the platform at Keswick for 
ten years. 

The last of the men of Keswick whom I have been told 
to speak of is Mr. Robert Wilson, one of the two founders 
of the Convention and its chairman from 1891 to 1900. 
I remember well an incident at Bridge of Allan, where 
on a wet day, three of us went to the meeting in 
a cab, Mr. Ferguson, of Kinmundy (my dear, ac 
complished, and venerable friend), Mr. R. Wilson, 
and myself. As the cab arrived at the door, a too 
audible whisper was heard from the bystanders " Look 
at the three old gentlemenl" I got out first, and when 
assisting Mr. Ferguson out, he whispered to me, 
" How old is our friend ? " I answered that he 
was then 74. When Mr. Wilson was helped out he, in 
turn, asked me " how old is Mr. Ferguson ? " I answered 
that I had just been asked the same question about him, 
and that our friend was nearly 76. I was then eight 
years younger than the older of the two, and six years 
younger than the second, and now survive them both. 
Mr. Wilson s characteristics were chiefly two : great 
strength of will and purpose, especially in resisting 
silently ; and great sweetness of spirit. He was the 
selector of the Keswick motto " All one in Christ Jesus," 
and was responsible for the three flags, "Love Joy 
Peace" which fly over the tent. His love for Prayer 
(and Habit of Prayer) was great, he was always finding 
or making excuses for special prayer, and it was very 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

striking to mark his words when we prayed together alone. 
He was a great strength to Canon Battersby at the begin 
ning of the Keswick story. It is hardly too much to say that 
without Mr. Wilson s support and brave backing, there 
would have been no story at all. At all events, the two 
friends stood side by side, and were at one. I have copies of 
three letters from the Canon to his friend in the opening 
year, 1875. On the gth March of that year, he writes to 
say, " I am inviting Mr. R. P. S. (the initials are in the 
letter) to Keswick for the middle of the month of June. I 
do not know in the least what his engagements are, 
or whether he will be able to come ; but I have 
projected a series of meetings in Cumberland and think 
that the time named would be the best, as then 
Keswick would only be partially filled with visitors. 
As there would be considerable expenses connected 
with such a gathering, I should not of course make 
any definite arrangements without agreement with others. 
It may be that yon have already, in concert with Kendal friends, 
been arranging for something in Westmoreland, if so we 
might combine, and try to get together a numerous assem 
blage to look for, and wait for a blessing at God s hands. I 
believe that many are prepared to profit by such an oppor 
tunity if it were given. Pray write a line to say what you 
think. It appears to me that Keswick would be a very suitable 
place ; but, if there is a better, I should be willing to yield." 
Within a fortnight there is a second letter, also dated 
from Cimiez (March 22nd) : " Your welcome letter was 
an encouragement to me in endeavouring to carry out the 
project framed in my last. The same post brought me 
also one from (the proposed chairman, who was still un 
certain whether he could attend). We are not very well off 
for public rooms at Keswick. There are indeed several of 
a modest size, but the largest (the Oddfellows Hall) will 
not hold more than from 300 to 400 people. I had thought 


The Keswick Convention 

of a large tent (the Diocesan Tent) as the best place of 
meeting if the weather were at all suitable ; but we must 
remember that the object of the meetings would be to 
promote the full sanctification of believers, and that the numbers 
likely to gather for this purpose might not be so large, except 
indeed that it is likely that many would be attracted from 
a distance. I hope that we should have a good contingent 
from Kendal. Let us commit the matter to the Lord, in 
faith that if He approves of it, He will give us His warrant 
to proceed, and if not, He will let us see that it is so." 

These extracts, I think, cannot but be interesting to all 
who have been among the crowds who have in recent 
years gathered at the Keswick Convention. They do not 
indicate any expectation or foresight of what the future had 
to bring, and we read with the greater interest of the doubts 
and difficulties as they rise and are disposed of. A third 
letter tells that the first meeting, which was held in a large 
tent, hired for the purpose, for three days, cost a sum of 
"some 76" beyond the funds collected; and though I 
have been warned that this is " not for publication," I 
venture to record that this sum was contributed by Mr. 
Robert Wilson and the late Mr. George Moore, and that 
Canon Battersby was not permitted to share the loss. I 
record this the more willingly because a very similar fact 
took place in Glasgow when a Convention was established 
there, and the clerical members of committee were not 
allowed to take part in making good the deficiency. 

One looks back to many occasions when Mr. Wilson 
was either a guest in my own house, or when we were 
fellow-guests elsewhere at Polmont, for instance, or at 
Bridge of Allan. As I have stated already, Canon 
Battersby died at the opening of my second year at 
Keswick ; and though Mr. Bowker succeeded as Chair 
man there, yet at many other Conventions Mr. Wilson 
acted as Chairman, and it was my happy lot to be often 


The Founders and Some of the Leaders 

with him, to see much of the inner life, to be consulted 
about any difficulties, and to hear of any new movements. 
Nothing is more delightful than the memories which 
such meetings have left. Perhaps those at Polmont 
afforded the fullest scope for intercourse. He was in the 
habit of going there some days before the meetings, and 
one was often tempted to lengthen one s stay to be the 
longer with him. The late dear Mr. Livingstone- 
Learmouth and his wife and family were most highly 
esteemed by him and by all who went to those blessed 

The cloud of sorrow gathered over Mr. Wilson s head 
during his labours as Treasurer and afterwards as Chair 
man. The death of his eldest son, and of his own wife, 
whom one remembers almost as a dream, full of grace 
and of kindness, a loss which was never made up to him, 
and left a large solitude within, were followed in late 
years by increasing feebleness. And then came a 
mysterious malady rarely met with, though well known 
to medical students a species of dumbness, in which 
even the shortest words were spoken with great difficulty 
and others not at all. It, of course, made speaking in 
public impossible. For a year or two, he gathered a few 
of the speakers from Keswick to his table, two or three 
at a time ; and how touching, how tragic, and how 
beautiful it was to meet and see him, I could not say. The 
trouble went on increasing, though he was still able to walk 
about the grounds at Broughton Grange. He spent the 
days almost always alone, his sons leaving in the morn 
ing and returning by evening. One day in June, 1905, 
he had his lonely luncheon in the dining-room ; as he 
was longer than usual in ringing for the maid, she went 
in to find the reason ; he was seated at the table, near his 
plate, but something in the attitude and the bowed head 
struck her ; and on approaching near, she found that he 


The Keswick Convention 

had died, as he sat, almost without a movement and with 
out pain. " Truly, the end of that man was peace" \ Who 
would not wish for such an end, if prepared for it, as he 

was ? 


The Message: Its 
Scriptural Character 


By the Bishop of Durham 

"Buried with Christ," and raised with Him too ; 
What is there left for me to do ? 
Simply to cease from struggling and strife, 
Simply to "walk in newness of life." 
Chorus, Glory be to God. 

"Risen with Christ," my glorious Head, 
Holiness now the pathway I tread, 
Beautiful thought, while walking therein : 
" He that is dead is freed from sin." 

" Living with Christ," who " dieth no more, 1 
Following Christ, who goeth before ; 
I am from bondage utterly freed, 
Reckoning self as "dead indeed." 

Living for Christ, my members I yield, 
Servants to God, for evermore sealed, 
" Not under law," I m now " under grace," 
Sin is dethroned, and Christ takes its place. 

Growing in Christ ; no more shall be named 
Things of which now I m truly ashamed, 
" Fruit unto holiness " will I bear 

Life evermore the end I shall share. 


The Message : Its Scriptural Character 

THE Teaching of the Keswick Convention is a phrase 
which invites, as we use it, a word of earnest 
disclaimer of all thought of asserting for " Keswick" 
a monopoly in any spiritual truth. No doubt the great 
Convention in the quiet Lake-land town has been con 
nected, now for more than thirty years, and in a way of 
its own, with the delivery of one great side of the Christian 
message. But those who love the Keswick Convention 
best, and who have most cause to thank God for its exist 
ence, will be the first to say that the teaching connected 
with it is no private property of the place and the occa 
sion; it is as old as the Apostles, and as catholic as the 
Creeds. And our thankful belief is that " Keswick " has 
done its best and greatest work, and is doing it, not by 
forming a self-contained " school " of its own, but by 
recalling, far and wide, among a large variety of 
" schools" and regions of Christian life and witness, 
certain great elements of truth which have tended too 
often to fall out of the common view. 

What then do we understand, what do I understand, by 
the Teaching of the Keswick Convention ? 

In my answer to this question I shall try to keep 
strictly to the essentials. Many great topics of the spiritual 
life are handled at every Keswick Convention. But not 
all of them are distinctive of its special message, as I 
understand it ; and not all who take the teacher s or 
witness part there are agreed on all these other topics. 


The Keswick Convention 

Those aspects of the Biblical doctrine of Holiness on 
which essential agreement is sure, and is general there, 
can alone be rightly called Keswick Teaching. And I think 
that those aspects can all be summed up under the one 
short phrase, " HOLINESS BY FAITH." 

Briefly, let me develop that phrase. 

First, then, What is Holiness ? What does that great 
word denote, as it will be understood at Keswick, and as, 
I trust, it will be understood everywhere in the light of the 
Scriptures ? It is the state of character, and of life, 
conditioned by surrender to the Will of God, and by a 
conformity to that Will resulting from the surrender. It 
is dedication to Him, on the part of the man whom He 
has redeemed. It is the attitude and habit of the 
Christian who, in his whole nature, body, soul and spirit, 
" lives out " that dedication. 

It is heart-obedience but more. It is the obedience 
of the worshipper, the votary, the devotee, who humbly 
"yields himself unto God," as unto the adored and 
beloved Maker, Redeemer, Possessor of his being. 

Then, further, What is Faith ? I reply, unhesitatingly, 
that it is, in absolute simplicity, Reliance. It is Trust 
reposed upon Another. It is the attitude of quiet con 
fidence in Him, as able to keep His promises, and willing 
to do so, and under gracious covenant to do so. The stress 
and emphasis of the idea of Faith is just upon that point, 
that it is a " looking off" upon our Lord Jesus Christ, away 
from our own labour and effort. It removes the soul s 
reliant attention, so to speak, from the energies of our 
own will to the energies of His. It is the look and action 
of one who, discovering that the disorders of his inmost 
soul are too much for him, turns in the " confidence of 
self-despair " to Him Who " is able to subdue all things 
to Himself," and then gives over the problem into His 


The Message : Its Scriptural Character 

It is the attitude and action, for example, of one who, 
wrestling long and in vain with internal pollutions of 
thought, turns away at last to ask his Lord, in simplicity, 
to " cleanse the thoughts of his heart," and to keep them 
clean. Or again of one who, hopeless of a victory by his 
own will over his own impatient and angry spirit, asks, as 
one who means it, that his Lord will " keep his temper 
for him " and finds that He can do it. 

Such, in its essentials, is the doctrine of Holiness by 
Faith. It is not the entire Gospel, by any means, but it is 
a great element in it. It is no substitute for Justification 
by Faith. Rather it presupposes it ; it is itself the sequel 
truth which justification takes for granted as its comple 
ment and crown. And again, it is no contradiction to the 
inviolable claims of discipline and diligence. It does not 
discredit for one moment the call to watch, to pray, to 
" keep under the body and bring it into subjection," to 
explore and ponder the Scriptures, to use the sacred 
benefits of solemn public worship, and in particular of 
the Holy Communion of the Lord s Body and Blood, to 
prize and cultivate reverential and loving fellowship with 
the Church of God. But it does tend earnestly to remind 
the believer that, behind and within all these heaven-given 
and heaven-commanded means of blessing, whose effect, 
singly and together, is always to keep the spiritual 
faculties alive and alert, and to guide and harmonize 
their action the inmost action of the soul, in the matter 
of Holiness, is Faith. Ultimately, at the heart of every 
thing, the man, in order to live the life of dedicated 
loyalty, in order to receive more and more the spiritual 
force with which to live it, is to " act Faith," hour by 
hour, step by step. He is to bring his internal needs, 
lackings, weaknesses, rebellions, direct to his Lord, spirit 
to Spirit, and he is to trust Him in His grace and power 
to set him, and to keep him, free ; to set him, and to 

The Keswick Convention 

keep him in such relations with His life and with His 
will that an unhindered growth may be his happy 
experience, now and here, in real life. 

Keswick" has this for its characteristic and unani 
mous message. And it has always emphasized that side of 
the message which insists on the present possibilities of the 
matter. In God s providence " Keswick " has been kept 
from ever formulating, as its authentic message, a dream 
of " sinlessness," which would be deeply at variance with 
the spirit which "veils the face" and sings, "Holy, Holy, 
Holy"; a dream which always, so far as it really rules 
the soul, tends away from a tender humbleness. But 
" Keswick " has always and with one voice said that the 
believer, " acting Faith " on his indwelling Lord, and 
dwelling in his Lord by Faith, is to expect not defeat, but 
victory. He is boldly, and humbly, to "claim " the promises 
of liberty and purity, in a valid and wonderful reality, here 
and now. He is to expect even inveterate sins to be 
even suddenly rebuked and subdued by Him Who is able 
to do it in him, and for him. He is to feel a holy 
discontent with failure, as with that which, in the name 
of the Lord Jesus, need not be. Not only as to outward 
trials, but as to temptations within, he is to expect to be, 
here and now, " more than conqueror, through Him that 
loveth him." And so he is to expect to be, in an ever 
truer completeness, " a vessel sanctified, and meet for 
the Master s use" which is the true end and goal of his 
regenerate existence. 

Now we affirm that such a doctrine of Holiness by 
Faith is deeply and soundly Scriptural. I will attempt 
to support the affirmation, that I may be as concise as I 
can, by quoting from my own little theological book, Out 
lines of Christian Doctrine (pp. 19 1, etc.) : 

"The holy precepts for renewed man amount in their 
sum to just this a total abstinence in Christ s name from 


The Message : Its Scriptural Character 

admitted sinning, of motive and act, and a true and entire 
dedication of spirit, soul, and body to the will of God. 

" The work of Faith in Sanctification is manifold 
Faith is exercised at whatever moment the Christian 
for any purpose definitely trusts his Lord s word and 
power. It is precisely the same faculty as that exercised 
in receiving remission, and its exercise is quite as simple 
as then ; but it now takes another direction. And this 
direction figures very largely in the Scriptures in the 
matter of the Christian s victory over sin, or deliverance 
from it (see e.g. Acts xv. 9, and probably xxvi. 18 ; Gal. 
ii. 20; Eph. vi. 16). It is clearly indicated [in Scripture] 
that for the man in living contact with Christ the true 
secret for internal purity is Christ (i Cor. i. 30 ; cp. vi. 17), 
living and overcoming within, by the Holy Spirit, who 
effects His presence there. And our part is to believe. 

" In one great passage (Eph. iii. 14-19) we reach the 
heart of the matter. The believer s practical experience 
of all the fulness of God, i.e., of all that which, being 
in Him, is communicable as holiness to His regenerate 
creature, is there connected with the coming of Christ 
to dwell in the heart. And this is connected on one 
hand with the work of the Spirit, strengthening the 
Christian in the inner man, and on the other hand 
with the Christian s faith, obviously as the result of 
that divine work. The indwelling, with its sequel of 
blessings, is secured and retained, on our side, by faith ; 
not by a process of discipline and labour, but by the 
same humble and reverent reliance on God in His Word 
which is our entrance into justification. Thus the heart 
is purified by faith, because faith is the admission into 
it of Jesus Christ, its indwelling Redeemer, Friend, and 
King, divinely able so to work on it and in it, along all 
its lines of spontaneity, as to conform it effectually, yet 
without force, to His most sacred will in all things. 

7 1 

The Keswick Convention 

" This deep yet open secret of spiritual victory is 
largely illustrated in Scripture. The combat of the soul is 
seen portrayed, for all believing students, in the language 
of the Psalms about enemies and battle. And the Psalms 
bear inexhaustible witness to a secret of victory which is 
in fact the man s committal of himself, for victory, to 
Jehovah (see, out of many passages, Psal. xxv. 15. xxvii. 
i 6, cxxxviii. 7, 8). His is the one really prevalent force ; 
His people prevail by Him. So with the conflict of the 
Christian under temptation. His secret is to put on the 
Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. xiii. 14), w r ho is, in effect, * the 
whole armour, the panoply, of God (Eph. vi. n).* In 
Him alone, as vantage-ground and fortress, His follower 
is strong (Eph. vi. 10) against the powers of evil. In 
Him, enabling, the Christian has strength for all 
things (Phil. iv. 13) which are to be borne or done in the 
will of God. 

" This divine principle is vitally connected with 
the doctrine of our Union with Christ as the Second 
Man, in whom Manhood, perfected and glorified, is per 
sonally united to Godhead, and who, thus constituted the 
Head of His people, is for them the Fountain of all grace 
and virtue, to be derived from Him by faith in Him."t 

In the present writer s deep conviction, not without 
experiences keenly searching and humbling, yet full of the 
mercy and faithfulness of God, the doctrine of Holiness by 
Faith is a factor of quite vital significance in the liberty 
and growth of the Christian life. Like every capital truth, 
it needs, for our full safety in using it, and so for its full 
benefit in our lives, to be taught and to be applied in 
contact and in balance with other such truths for 
example, with the truth of guilt, and with that of justifica- 

*St. Jerome rightly comments here that " most clearly, by all the 
arms of God, the Saviour is to be understood^ 
t$ee Marshall (1690), Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, 


The Message : Its Scriptural Character 

tion. But let it be so held, and held indeed, or rather let 
it hold indeed the sorely needing soul, and then discoveries 
of freedom and strength will be made, amidst all the 
realities of our weakness, which will give occasion for 
humble but most happy testimony, glorifying not unto 
us but to our all-blessed Lord. And that testimony will 
best express itself in Scriptural words : 

" He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for 
my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly 
therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the 
power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am 
weak, then am I strong" (2 Cor. xii. 9, 10). 

"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me ; and the life which I 
now live in the flesh I live by my faith in the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. ii. 20). 

The Message: Its 
Method of Presentation 


By the Rev. Hubert Brooke, M.A, 

Definiteness is what I should regard as the most impressive feature 
of the Keswick teaching. The speakers aim at inducing definite 
personal dealing with God, with a view to the reception of some 
definitei personal, and spiritual acquisition. It may be deliverance 
from sin or it may be consecration to God and His service, or it may 
be the apprehension of the fulness of the Holy Spirit, but in each 
case definite personal action is claimed, and the " faith that worketh 
miracles" still is directed towards a definite issue with a view to a 
definite result in the soul s condition and experience. 

This, I think, is what differentiates Keswick from other Conferences 
where there is much good and eloquent speaking that leads up to 
nothing in particular, except a general feeling that it is all very good 
and very " nice." W. Hay M. H. Aitken. 

I believe that in the objective character of the Message given at 
Keswick lies the secret of its compelling power. It searches heart 
and conscience, not by turning attention inward to questions of 
subjective experience, but upward to the glory of Christ s Person, the 
efficacy of His Atonement, and the sufficiency of His grace for all 
need in " the daily round and common task " of Christian life and 
service. S. M. Etches. 

The Message : Its Method of 

THE fundamental aim and object of the Keswick Con 
vention from its commencement was the promotion 
of holiness, and not the development of new 
Christian enterprises. Character, and not service, was the 
aim held closely before all who spoke and heard at those 
meetings. What we were intended to be, and not what 
we were called to do, was the prominent thought in the 
whole Convention. We did not profess to meet in order 
to develop the fullest Christian activities, but to develop 
the highest possible Christian character. The two are as 
closely connected as cause and effect, for no full 
Christian powers will be exerted save from a full 
Christian character. But it is quite consistent with the 
divine order, and in accordance with the model of the 
New Testament procedure, that a deliberate separation 
should exist between these two things ; and that we 
should give our attention to the formation of the highest 
type of character in the Christian, before insisting on 
the normal outcome of Christian activities. The train 
ing of the twelve disciples certainly proceeded on these 
lines ; for it was mainly the great lessons of character 
that were being impressed upon them during the three 
and a half years of our Lord s ministry, and mainly the 
fruits of active service that followed in the after years of 
their work. 

Reprinted by kind permission of the R.T.S. from " Holiness by 
Faith." is. 


The Keswick Convention 

The Convention was a perhaps unconscious protest 
against the popular mistake, that a newborn soul is quite 
competent at once for full Christian service ; it served to 
emphasize the truth, often quite overlooked, that service 
is immensely influenced by the character and conduct of 
him who renders it ; and it reinforced, with much needed 
precision, the fact that a right character is of far more 
importance in the eyes of the Master than any amount of 
outward activities. The lesson of i Cor. xiii. is ever in 
need of being pressed upon a world that loves to judge 
by externals, and is slow to believe, that a heart and 
character of love outstrips in real worth all the most 
magnificent exhibitions of powers and capacities that 
have ever been seen. 

With such thoughts in mind as to the original purpose 
and professed object of the Convention, we shall be in a 
better position to define what the Message of the Con 
vention was, and how its method of presentation took 
shape. We shall discover that the years of the Con 
vention can fairly be divided into three stages, according 
as the teaching began to comprise new aspects of what is 
after all only one great whole of Christian doctrine. 

In the earliest years, perhaps most definitely in the first 
eight or ten, of the Convention meetings at Keswick, the 
chief emphasis was placed upon the great matter of 
deliverance from the power of besetting sin, the attain 
ment of victory in the little conflicts of everyday life and 
conduct, by the power of Christ accepted in the heart by 
faith. The keynote of the earliest message was this : 
that there is in Christ not only a release and deliverance 
from the penalty and future punishment of sins past, but 
that there is also in Him an ever present power to keep 
from the recurring attacks of those sins ; and that that 
power is as much to be appropiated by our faith as was 
the first boon of pardon for all the past. " Now unto 

The Message : Its Method of Presentation 

Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present 
you faultless before the presence of His glory with 
exceeding joy " : that was the glad message that came 
with such fresh force to multitudes of consciously 
pardoned and reconciled souls in those early years. 
Closely connected with this aspect and message of the 
full Gospel came also the instant corollary of a whole 
hearted consecration of the redeemed life to God. " I 
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, 
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, 
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." 
These two thoughts formed the right and left hand of the 
subject ; they were the negative and positive of the 
message : cleansing and consecration, deliverance and 

The consequence and fruit of such a message were at 
once apparent, and the result exactly corresponded to 
the cause. In those early years there were many 
testimonies of a practical deliverance from the power of 
besetting sin, a constant and lasting blessing found in the 
keeping power of Christ, which formed so new and 
blessed an experience, that many spoke of it as a 
" second conversion." Though that phrase was never 
adopted by the speakers, nor given any official approval, 
yet it was. one quite natural under the circumstances, 
especially in view of the exactly similar way in which the 
two blessings came to be received. These Christian 
people knew quite well, that it was by simple faith in 
Christ, when their own powers and efforts had proved 
worthless, that the blessing of pardon and peace had 
been bestowed upon them ; and now it was a real 
repetition of the same steps that brought them this further 
blessing. Again they were shown that their own powers 
and efforts had failed, and always would fail, to win them 
deliverance from the power of besetting sins ; just as 


The Keswick Convention 

they had failed in attaining pardon. Again they were 
shown that in Christ, and in Him alone, there lies the 
secret of deliverance and victory ; even as in Him lay the 
power to forgive. Again they were told to commit their 
case unto the Lord, and that, trusting in Him, the 
deliverance would be theirs ; even as the pardon had been 
received years before. No wonder then, that with so 
much alike in the need, in the Deliverer, and in the con 
dition of faith, they should express the blessing received 
as a "second conversion," or more often a "second 
blessing." It was no denial that many more blessings 
might follow, but only a thankful confession of the very 
marked and real change effected by this grace of God. 

With this earliest aspect of the work, and as the 
immediate consequence of a true definition of sin, came 
also the fruit of amendment for wrong done to others, 
that most practical outcome of a real and living repent 
ance, and the strongest assurance of a determined 
separation from evil. All these consequences of the 
Convention were among the most frequent evidences of 
its practical bearing on everyday life ; and where such 
fruits were apparent there could be no doubt of the 
reality and God-given character of the work. Judging 
by a good many cases which I have known personally, 
these three early fruits of the Convention must have very 
largely influenced the lives of those who attended. 
Among the most common signs were to be noted the 
strong conviction of sin, and the vivid recollection of old 
and half-forgotten and never honestly righted faults of 
bygone days. Many a soul, coming to seek and pray for 
this deliverance from the power of sin of which men 
were speaking, found their prayers interrupted by the 
rising of such old errors of former days ; nor could they 
make any progress, nor get any effectual result from their 
prayers, until they had put those old things right, and 


The Message : Its Method of Presentation 

made amends for what they had left unconfessed and 
uncorrected in their former dealings with others. So 
often did such an effect of the Convention come before 
my personal knowledge in the earlier days, that I found 
it the very best and shortest answer to objectors, who 
doubted whether this work were really a spiritual and 
Scriptural movement. I was wont to say, that as long 
as the constant symptoms of the blessing there sought 
were a fresh sensitiveness of conscience and a deeper 
conviction of the sinfulness of sin, as long as it was con 
stantly leading in the very first steps to a frank confession 
and honest amendment towards those who had been in 
any way wronged by the one who was seeking blessing, 
then I was sure such must indeed be the work of God s 
Holy Spirit. With this honest dealing with regard to 
their old faults there came also the wholehearted 
surrender of themselves to God, for the learning of His 
will and the doing of His work ; which in very many 
cases led to an increased activity of service, apparent 
enough in each single person, but difficult to tabulate in 
a total of such effects. Then, and most apparent to their 
immediate surroundings, came so often the conquest of 
tempers that had marred the Christian testimony of 
former days. This was a proof which could be seen and 
known of all, and was the best evidence in those days to 
others who inquired or doubted about the work. 

One such case may serve as an example for many. 
Mr. Moody was one day talking to a friend of mine, and 
asking him about the meeting of Keswick. Another 
friend sitting with them broke in with a word of ridicule 
about Keswick, when Mr. Moody told this remarkable 
story in defence of the Convention which he had never 
attended, and in explanation of his desire to know more 
about it. " On one of my previous visits to this country 
I found in a certain town, on the Committee that was 

8l G 

The Keswick Convention 

arranging my meetings, a leading worker, who was the 
most cantankerous Christian that I ever mei. At my 
next visit, some years later, I found this man so altered 
and so full of the love of God, that I at once asked 
another friend what had happened to him. The friend 
said, He has been to Keswick. Then I said, I only 
wish all other Christians would go to Keswick too, and 
get their hearts filled in the same way with the love of 
God. " Such a testimony is worth much, for it exactly 
expresses the result at which the Convention speakers 
aimed, shows how apparently it had been attained in this 
case, and how so keen an observer as Mr. Moody was 
impressed by the result and convinced of the reality of 
the work. 

Now where such an effect was a commonly sought and 
found experience, it could not fail to affect the lives in 
other ways, besides that of deliverance from besetting 
sins. Where the consecration of the whole being to God 
was a real and definite act, intended to bring the life into 
closer conformity to the revealed will and Word of God, 
there was bound to be a change in the active side of life, 
as well as in the inner realm of experience. And this 
became evident in what I have suggested as forming the 
second stage of the teaching at the Convention, and 
which became more prominent in the next part of its 
existence, from the end of the first eight or ten years. 
This time the message, addressed very largely to those 
who had made real proof and experience of the reality of 
the earlier message, took the form of enforcing the ever 
present power of the Holy Spirit, as the great Enabler 
and Strengthener for all the service to which a soul is 
called. As the first lesson was that of casting the burden 
of besetting sins on the Lord, so this next stage 
rather enforced the casting the burden of service upon 
Him, and seeking to do and serve not in our own 


The Message : Its Method of Presentation 

power, but in His. The question was forced upon 
those who were proving His power to keep, whether this 
was to be all He meant to do ; and at once it became 
apparent that the vessel was to be cleansed and kept 
clean, solely in order that it might always be ready for 
the Master s use. Capacity for service began to be 
pressed upon all hearers as the work of the Holy Spirit, 
as our Lord had promised in his last discourse to His 
disciples after the Supper. The Holy Spirit was to teach 
all things, was to witness of Christ, was to show the things 
of Christ, was to enable to witness for Him to the world. 
The great lesson of Pentecost, the promise of the 
Father, was seen to have an ever fresh application to the 
Christian life, and to be as true a promise to-day as at 
the first. 

One striking testimony as to the way in which this 
teaching passed from the inner experience to the outer 
activities was given in my hearing on one occasion at a 
local Convention. A second speaker at one of the meet 
ings had failed to arrive, and it was suggested that any 
on the platform might give their witness to the truths 
that were being taught. A senior clergyman rose and 
told the following story. He said that the responsibilities 
of his parish some time before began so to press upon 
him, and the difficulties of fully meeting them so weighed 
upon him, that he was in danger of breaking down under 
the strain. Night and day the burden of souls lay upon 
his heart, and his own inability effectually to bring home 
the Gospel to them all oppressed him, till he thought he 
would very soon succumb altogether and die. He was 
one day in much depression, and was praying for help 
in his helplessness, when the text flashed into his mind, 
" Casting all your care upon Him." Suddenly he saw 
that that must mean the care and burden of his parish, 
as it had meant the burden of his sins many years before. 


The Keswick Convention 

There and then he committed his parish and its burdens 
unto the Lord, and, as he added in closing his remarks, 
" I have never borne that burden since." When I add 
that he was an indefatigable worker, a remarkable visitor, 
and a capable missioner, it will be seen that this 
" Keswick blessing" meant no small power for service 
and real capacity for Christian work. That text, " Cast 
ing all your care upon Him," and the kindred one, " My 
grace is sufficient for thee," are among those frequently 
referred to as being the word by which the truth of 
deliverance and power was communicated to the soul. 

If we were to take Purity as the keynote of the earlier 
stage, we may take Power as that of the second ; and in 
the very order of the disciples experience. They had 
been in communion with their Master during His earthly 
ministry, learning to grow like Him and to develop a 
character such as He desired. Now that He was leaving 
them to carry on His work, their great need was power 
to do this fitly. Here, then, came the great doctrine of 
the Holy Spirit, and His empowering and fitting for service. 

It is not a little significant of this gradual progress of 
the work and teaching, that the objections made by 
people who opposed, but never attended, the Convention 
changed perceptibly. In those earlier days it was some 
times objected that the teachers did not give proper 
prominence and honour to the Holy Spirit, because they 
so strongly emphasized the keeping and delivering power 
of the risen Saviour. But when the importance of the 
power and working of the Holy Spirit came to be 
enforced, the objection altered, and faulty teaching about 
the Spirit was one of the points of the opposing charge. 
It was not a change in any way officially planned; 
indeed, there was from the very beginning of the move 
ment a remarkable absence of planning and organising 
about the work. It was the custom that all who spoke 

The Message : Its Method of Presentation 

came habitually with whatever of God s Word was most 
fresh upon their hearts and minds ; and so the change 
was unperceived and natural, just like the growth of a 
healthy child, as they passed from one stage of the 
message to another. 

Such a step forward very soon resulted in the third of 
these stages which I have suggested as marking the work. 
And that last stage was indeed the one, where theory and 
doctrine and personal experience passed into activities 
which are somewhat more within the reach of figures for 
tabulating. It was but the logical outcome of the earlier 
steps. If these had led to a closer conformity to the 
character which Christ desired His disciples to show, if 
they had sent the obedient hearer to the Source of all 
strength and fitness for service, then how and where was 
that service to be rendered ? As this question came to be 
formulated, there sprang up before the Convention, quite 
unexpectedly and without human design, the great vista 
of an unevangelized world, and the reality of the Lord s 
command that His Gospel was to be sent to the uttermost 
parts of the earth. 

So it has come about that, in the later years of the 
Convention, more and more prominence has been given 
to the Missionary Call to the Church of Christ. If the 
earlier form of the Message had made it clear, that all 
pardoned souls were meant to be cleansed and kept and 
consecrated ; if the next development of the Message 
declared the power with which such souls were meant to 
be filled, and so fitted for divine service ; then the natural 
question arose, as to where this service was to be rendered. 
Gradually the width of the divine Call to the Church 
became more and more apparent in the Message of the 
speakers. They began to see, and therefore to tell, what 
the real issue of true cleansing and consecration, of real 
filling and fitting, would be in the living Church. The 


The Keswick Convention 

latest form of the Message has declared, that such a 
Church can look to no smaller end, can be content with no 
narrower limits, and rest in no shorter attainment, than 
" The Evangelization of the World in this Generation." 



The Message: Its 
Practical Application 


By the Rev. A, T, Pierson, D.D. 

Keswick stands for Unity of Determined Purpose to learn the 
utmost of God s possibilities for Personal Holiness as the one great 
condition of true witness and full service. In outstanding Unity, 
assured that God has made absolute Provision, the thousands come 
to turn that assurance into more abiding experience, to the uttermost 
of God s purpose. Nothing less can satisfy them, or satisfy Him. 
y, ^?. Macpkerson* 

Nothing in my first contact with "Keswick" struck me more than 
the way in which it was sought to arouse Christian people to a sense 
of the importance of having the heart right with God if they were to 
enjoy what He had prepared for them, or to fulfil the ends for which 
they had been redeemed, and the wish to be of the highest 
use to their Master, and to the world through which they were 
passing ; and I think that whatever the changes of the years, 
" Keswick " still rings that out as one of its chief notes. Wm. 

The Message: Its Practical Application 

IT may be well now to amplify a little upon the 
Keswick Message and its practical application to the 
life of the believer. 

As to the type of teaching, it is steadfastly 
maintained that it embraces nothing new, as in the 
matters of spiritual truth, according to the old adage, 
there is nothing new that is true or true that is new. 
Yet it is felt that some old truths need, from time to 
time, restatement and new emphasis, and that for every 
new period of history there is always a "present truth." 
The teaching at Keswick is definite, however, and com 
plete. It is also progressive ; usually, during the four or 
five days of the annual convention, each day has its 
peculiar class of topics, and the teaching as a whole has a 
beginning, middle, and culmination. In other words, 
some truth is taught as preparatory to what follows, and 
all the teaching moves toward a definite result in sanctity 
and service. 

Without intimating or implying that there is any 
mechanical and uniform order in human experience, or 
that a human soul can be run, like an engine, along an 
iron track, from station to station, there are six or seven 
successive stages of experience through which believers 
generally pass who enter into this higher life of faith, 
victory, and blessing. We venture to indicate what in 
such advance are 

The Keswick Convention 


(1) The prompt renunciation of whatever is known or even 
suspected to be contrary to the will of God. Conscience 
must first of all be clean and clear of conscious dis 
obedience or neglect of duty. Hindrances to holy living 
must be abandoned. 

(2) The acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ not only 
as Saviour but as Lord. A new surrender to the will of God 
which practically enthrones Him as sovereign. The self-life 
sacrificed with its self-indulgence and self-dependence. 

(3) Obedience now becomes the watch-word of the soul. 
The will of God being voluntarily enthroned, compliance 
with it becomes habitual and natural, and service to God 
the supreme end of one s being. 

(4) This prepares for close and constant fellowship with 
God. Communion ceases to be occasional and clouded, 
and the great promise of John xiv. 23 becomes increas 
ingly real in actual experience. 

(5) The sense of Divine possession of one s entire being 
spirit, soul, and body is the natural outcome of such 
conditions. When there is no longer any conscious 
reservation, because the whole being joyfully is yielded 
up to Him, we become consciously His own. 

(6) There is now a new joy and a peace which passeth 
understanding, a new revelation of Christ as an indwell 
ing presence, and a true infilling of the Holy Ghost. 

(7) All this fits for the largest possible service to God and 
man. God gives to all truly consecrated believers the 
sceptre of holy influence. The Living Water which was 
at first a draught to quench thirst, and then a well or 
spring of life within, now becomes a stream, flowing out 
and multiplying into rivers of blessing. This is the last 
stage of the Victorious Life the stage of triumphant 
power over sin, prevailing power in prayer, and witness 
ing power among men. 


The Message : Its Practical Application 

Whatever method there is in all this teaching has 
been gradually and almost unconsciously developed. At 
the basis of the whole lies the deep and irresistible con 
viction that the average Christian life is lacking, not only 
in real spiritual power, but in the spiritual mind, and is 
essentially carnal. It is also confidently believed that it 
is both the duty and privilege of every disciple, having 
" received Christ Jesus the Lord," so to " walk in Him " 
as to manifest the power of His resurrection in newness 
of Life. 


Hence, the first great definite step urged is the 
immediate and final abandonment of every known sin and of 
every weight that hinders advance. Nothing which is 
revealed in the word of God to be evil in God s sight can 
be indulged with impunity. Known sin is not only 
damaging but destructive to all spiritual life and growth. 
It is allied with death and not with life. It stops com 
munion, makes peace impossible, and robs us of our 
testimony. It is destructive of all true assurance of 
salvation, not because salvation hangs on our merit, but 
because disobedience clouds our vision of Divine things. 
Obviously sin indulged blocks all true service to souls ; 
for how can one lead others into a new life of purity, 
peace, and power which he has not himself found, or 
help a sinner to an assured sense of salvation when he 
has lost his own assurance or never had any ? 


It is felt also that whatever is doubtful as an indulgence 
should be surrendered because of the doubt. In matters 
open to question, God and not self should have the 
advantage of the doubt. To continue in a questionable 
employment, amusement, occupation, association, or 
pleasure, brings condemnation, " for whatsoever is not of 

9 1 

The Keswick Convention 

faith is sin." And because evil things are hurtful, they 
must be unnecessary, otherwise there would be a fatality 
about continuance in sin or in injurious habits. God s 
commandment is His enablement. Whatever is believed or 
suspected to be opposed to His will and to our well-being 
should be, and can be, renounced, and abandoned at once 
and for ever. Because it should be, it may be. This is 
essentially Keswick teaching. It is an appeal to faith, 
to claim victory in Christ ; and thousands have put such 
teaching to the test, and found it true and God faithful. 

The self-life is also studiously held up as needing constant 
watchfulness in all its seven forms self-trust, self-help, 
self-pleasing, self-seeking, self-will, self-defence, and self- 
glory. The only way successfully to overcome it is to 
displace it, and have a new, practical, personal Centre, 
about which all else is to revolve. We all need to learn 
" the expulsive power of a new and mightier love," dis 
placing the old. 

The real difficulty with that large class of indulgences 
which do not bear the brand of positive inherent sin lies in 
their tendency to give undue prominence to self. To con 
sult self-gratification and self-glorification is in itself an 
unwholesome and an unholy habit. The lusts of ambi 
tion, avarice, appetite, however refined their forms of 
indulgence, all give self the supremacy. Ambition 
grasps after place, power, position, and feeds the pride of 
life and self-glory ; avarice seeks by heaping up treasure 
to promote self-indulgence and self-display; appetite 
makes the mere pleasure of eating and drinking an object, 
an end rather than a means to a higher end, and so 
ministers to self-pleasing and self-seeking. Many other 
forms of self-life need guarding, few of which are more 
subtle than the disposition to court human applause by 
catering to carnal tastes in others, and to avoid separation 
unto God by conformity to the world. 


The Message: Its Practical Application 

As to doubtful amusements, it may be safely contended 
that it is not enough to settle the fact that they have no 
necessary and inherent sinfulness. Moral tendency must 
always enter into any candid weighing of such matters. 
Several forms of popular amusement bear a distinctly 
worldly stamp, such as the theatre and the opera, the 
dance and the card-table, the wine-cup and the race 
course. For some reason these are not found associated 
with an advanced type of piety or of fruitful service. Some 
churches have even made indulgence in them a ground 
of discipline. Whatever may be said in defence of any or 
all of them, this is unquestionably true : that, wherever 
disciples find their way into the deeper experience of 
Christ s presence and power, the abandonment of them 
either precedes or follows such experience. In all our 
attendances at Keswick we have seldom, if ever, heard 
these matters directly mentioned ; the teaching deals with 
great general principles rather than specific practices ; yet, 
as a fact, from the very beginning until now, those who 
have attended these gatherings, and have been candidly 
open to the impressions of the truth taught, have found 
themselves asking whether such things have not hindered 
holiness and service. 

Whatever is done primarily to please one s self puts at 
risk pleasing God, and hence a high standard of holy 
living always and in everything involves obedience to two 
simple, practical rules : 

(a) I will seek to please Christ as my Master and Lord, 
the Sovereign of my life ; 

(b) I will seek to please my neighbour for his good 
unto edification. 

Paul, led by the Spirit, has left, as to all things 
" lawful " that is all doubtful indulgences not distinctly 
forbidden three great modifying principles : 

" All things are lawful for me," but 


The Keswick Convention 

(a) "all things edify not;" 

(b) " all things are not expedient ; " 

(c) " I will not be brought under the power of any"* 
Even after the question of lawfulness is settled there 

yet remain, therefore, three other questions to be answered, 
namely : is this expedient for me ? is it edifying to others ? 
has it a tendency to enslave me ? A heart set on pleasing 
God will soon fence off all debatable ground on these 
principles and thus get free of bondage to questionable 

It is a noticeable fact that those who accept Keswick 
teaching practically abandon tobacco, from an inward 
sense of its being promotive of carnal self-indulgence. 
Where it is used, not as a medicine but as a means of 
gratification, it is felt to lift self into undue prominence ; 
and, without any direct pressure being brought to bear by 
the speakers, hundreds have voluntarily resigned the use 
of this favourite narcotic. In the early Brighton Conven 
tion a clergyman expressed his sense of bondage to the 
tobacco habit, but declared that it would kill him to give 
it up. The chairman then made this memorable utterance: 
" It is not necessary for us to live, but it is necessary for us to 
give up anything which enslaves ws or imperils our fellowship 
with God." It is not necessary to add that this encum 
bered servant of God, who in the strength of God aban 
doned his enslaving habit, did not die, but lived to declare 
the works of the Lord. 


The surrender of the will to God in habitual obedience 
is, however, the radical law of all holy living. The Lord 
Jesus Christ must to every believer become not only 
Saviour, but Lord.t And no man can thus say that Jesus 

* i Corinthians vi. 12; x. 23. 

t Romans x. 9 (Revised Version). 


The Message : Its Practical Application 

is Lord but by the Holy Ghost.* It is a sad fact that so 
many who claim to have taken Him as Saviour from sin, 
have little or no real conception of the duty and delight 
of practically enthroning Him as the actual Sovereign, 
supreme over the daily life. To Laodicean disciples 
He is still outside, standing at the door and knock 
ing for admission. The keys of the house are not 
in His hands. There is a definite act whereby the door 
is opened and He is admitted to control. But so long 
as one apartment is voluntarily reserved the transfer is 
incomplete, for a reserved territory, however small, in 
volves and implies also a reserved right of way to such 

From the nature of the case God must have all or He 
really has none. Every child of God should search his 
own heart to see whether from any part of his being or 
life the Lord Jesus is practically shut out ; for over that 
part Satan has control, and he will use his opportunity to 
tempt us continually by that way of approach. Such 
Satanic approach God will not interpose to prevent, for 
He respects even the devil s rights ; and whatever in our 
being we reserve from God, constitutes Satan s territory, 
and God will allow him the right of way to his own. 
The only way to exclude him is by a full surrender to 
God, which enables us, in our measure, to say, like our 
Master, " The Prince of this World cometh, and hath 
nothing in me" 

When, under the surgeon s testing touch, any part of 
the body shrinks, showing an abnormal sensitiveness, he 
begins to suspect that in that part disease lurks. And 
whenever we are especially sensitive to any point and 
shrink from a candid application of Scripture to any par 
ticular practice, it is easy to conclude that, just at that 
point, there is a serious difficulty and danger. On the 

* l Corinthians xii. 3. 


The Keswick Convention 

other hand, he who opens up the hidden recesses of the 
whole heart and life to the Son of God will find that the 
very chambers where previously the idols have been 
hidden will become the audience-rooms of a Divine 
communion and converse. The Idol-room often proves 
afterward the Throne-room. 


Some Characteristics 
of the Message 


By the Rev. J. B. Figgis 

What strikes me most at Keswick during Convention Week is the 
manifestation of brotherly love, and the earnest desire to know the 
will of God by those who in some measure love God and are 
endeavouring to keep His Commandments. It is life seeking more 
life./. Taylor Smith, Bishop, Chaplain General to the Forces. 

Keswick s most striking feature, surely, is intense earnestness of 
purpose. Why have these thousands come, but to seek from God a 
fuller, deeper blessing ? Listen to the keen simplicity of the prayers, 
the fervour of the singing, the directness of the addresses. Note 
the solemn hush in the enormous tent. Come closer and observe the 
tear of repentance or of joy stealing down the cheeks of some. 
What does it all mean ? Inte?ise earnestness. Results ? Yes, thank 
God ! -See them in the homes of rich and poor; in many a pulpit 
now set on fire for God, and perhaps best of all, away in many a land 
across the sea ! S. A. Selwyn. 

Doubting, fearing, stumbling, with little hope of anything better to 
the end ; then a glimmering prospect of a brighter possibility ; then 
a hearty surrender to Christ s claims, and an unwavering trust in 
Him as a full Saviour; then the joyful cry, "I can do all things 
through Christ which strengtheneth me ! " That has been to 
hundreds the happy history of a week at Keswick. John Brash. 

Some Characteristics of the Message 

BOSSUET wrote a book on " The Variations of the 
Protestant Churches." What would he have said 
if he could have foreseen an assembly in which 
most of those variations were found, but found blended in 
sweetest harmony ? Yet such an assembly is the Keswick 

But though we are all " one in Christ Jesus," as the motto 
of the tent proclaims, there are variations of the melody 
which has been sounding there for two and thirty years. 

This period may be divided roughly into certain stages, 
the first might be headed Rest, the second Work, with it 
came Testimony, and after it came Teaching. 

First, Rest. He who built this ark for us was assuredly 
" a man of rest." The topic of many tongues was " The 
Rest of Faith. 5 One of the earliest and most winning 
booklets of the movement was " How to enter into rest." 
We heard much, but not too much, about " rest in the 
day of trouble," rest in the hour of temptation, a favourite 
text being " Stand still and see the Salvation of the 
Lord " : Rest in moments of irritation " Just name His 
Name, say Jesus, Jesus, and look to Him, and He will 
calm you." And " there was a great calm," people might 
call it Quietism. Call it what they would, it was very 
real and very beautiful to see. With this great peace, 
" there was great joy in that city" my text I remember 
on returning from the Oxford Convention of 1874. The 
joy was just as great at Keswick. 


The Keswick Convention 

Speaking of meetings held elsewhere, someone remarked, 
" You all seem so proper, but at Keswick you are like 
schoolboys let loose ! " Perhaps it is quite as well that 
this exuberance has given place to a more strenuous piety. 
To " run," and even to "walk," may be a stage beyond 
"mounting up with wings," nor is the note of joy silent, 
though some other notes may oftener be heard at the 
present day. So recently as 1905 Dr. Pierson, speaking 
from I Thess. v. 18, made joy his theme. He said, " this 
is the only passage in which we have seven spiritual 
frames put before us : 

Rejoice evermore the joyful frame ; 

1 Pray without ceasing the prayerful frame ; 

* In everything give thanks the thankful frame ; 
Quench not the Spirit the watchful frame ; 

* Despise not prophesyings the teachable frame ; 

Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good 
the judicial frame ; 

Abstain from every form of evil the hallowed frame. 

But the thankful frame was the one he selected, 
" Think and thank are from the same root. Wholesale 
forgetfulness of God s former mercies branded a spot as 
Massah and Meribah. The last thing we ever rejoice in 
is sorrow, and it is the greatest triumph of grace to show 
it. Joseph did when he said, Ye thought evil against 
me, but God meant it unto good. Ay, trouble is for 
good. A naturalist, pitying an emperor-moth struggling 
for an hour to get through the narrow neck of the cocoon, 
took his lancet and slit down the cocoon. The moth 
came out, but never developed its magnificent hues, and 
soon drooped and died. You would cut down the cocoon 
of your trials, but you would never have the beautiful 
colours in your wings, and never know what it was to 
soar Godward." 

The greatest exponent of joy and rest (such heavenly 


Some Characteristics of the Message 

joy, such hallowed rest !) was the loved and honoured 
Charles A. Fox. To hear him night after night in the 
tent, and year after year at St. John s, was as great a 
blessing as it was a treat. 

Peace and joy, characteristic of the childhood of the 
Convention, were followed by WORK and enterprise, the 
characteristics of its manhood. 

It is said that the introduction of missionary subjects 
had to struggle into existence (like that emperor-moth !), 
but the struggle ended in a glorious victory. I don t 
know how much of this is due to Mr. Eugene Stock, but 
the impetus he gave in nurturing the love of missions 
(and those of all societies) at Keswick, and in cherishing 
the love of " Keswick " in the breasts of hundreds of 
missionaries, has been of untold good to them and to us. 

In connection with missionary work, the consecration 
of property was often urged, and with much vigour, as by 
Dr. Pierson, who piled up incident after incident to show 
the inconsistency of Christians amassing large sums and 
giving little. 

Not a few self-denying gifts, some of them considerable, 
might, we are quite sure, be dated from the tent at 
Keswick, nor should it be forgotten that work at home 
has received a stimulus there only second to work abroad. 

Simultaneously with the deepening of the Spirit of 
Christian enterprise, there came a deepening of the 
stream of TESTIMONY. The charm of those spontaneous 
utterances we can never forget. A well-known Scotch 
evangelist confessed that he had found that work some 
times took the place of Christ, but that henceforth he 
wanted not His service, but Himself. On another occa 
sion Hudson Taylor said in his gentle humble way " we 
often sing * they who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly 
true, but I ve sometimes found that they who don t 
trust Him wholly, find HIM wholly true." 


The Keswick Convention 

A profound impression has been produced by testi 
monies given by leaders of the Convention as to the way 
in which they had been led into practical realisation of 
the blessing which can be obtained by those who will 
fully yield themselves to God. These were not given in 
most cases without deep emotion, and these personal 
experiences seem almost too sacred to commit to paper, 
but some extracts from those which have already been 
published may be reproduced as indicating how the varied 
representation of the message has affected men of widely 
different temperaments and attainments. 

" Some years ago," said one well-known Convention 
speaker, " I would not have been asked to go to Keswick, 
and if I had been, I should certainly not have gone. But 
I was staying as one of a house party, where I found, 
after my arrival, there were to be consecration meetings." 
He described how much he wished to be away at the 
time, but how this could not be, without breaking the 
courtesies of life. Words fro>m Haggai were God s 
message to him, and during the after meeting, he says 
" I felt it most difficult to stand, but, in the way God 
had spoken to me, it was more difficult not to stand. The 
calm and peace of God rilled me, and I returned home at 
His absolute disposal. What of the nine years since ? 
They have been on an absolutely different plane, both as 
to Christian work, and as to the presence of Christ, there 
has indeed been failure on my part ; but every failure 
can now be seen to be one s own fault, and that which 
need not have been." 

The Rev. G. MacGregor stated that he heard of 
Keswick as a place where sanctification was treated of, 
and he came as a matter of purely intellectual interest ; 
but he had not been in the place many minutes before he 
found that the treatment was practical and new. Then 
he felt very angry indeed, as a Scotchman, at being told 


Some Characteristics of the Message 

anything new in theology by Englishmen ! Monday was 
a terribly cold night, and Tuesday a burning day. Dr. 
Moule brought him to the crisis, and the conflict was 
narrowed down at last to one point. When that very 
point, after others, was touched that night by Mr. 
Hopkins, he felt so stung that he could have sprung to 
his feet and left. But God led him to do a very different 
thing to commit himself wholly into the Lord s hands. 
Mr. Meyer laid hold of him as he spoke of getting out 
of the boat of self, and Mr. Hopkins followed with the 
opportunity " Will you get out ? " It was to him indeed 
like leaping out of a boat upon the waters. " How has 
it been since ? " " In temper and worry, my weak 
places, I have found deliverance ; not that the capacity 
for either has gone, but Christ has His hands on 
me now." 

Then another Scotch minister told how the life of one 
beside him drew him away from the critical view of the 
subject, he would pardon him for naming him, and for 
saying that he had known Dr. Elder Gumming once, and 
he knew him again and it led him to silence. Then, at a 
small Mission, God gave him a revelation of self, and of 
sin after sin. " Then He took my self life and put it on 
the Cross, and took me to be altogether His, He emptied 
my house and shattered my health, but through it all I 
never had such peace. Three years ago I came here and 
sat at the back of the platform in calm joy, having known 
the crushing and searching before ever I came to 
Keswick, the cleansing and the filling too, before I heard 
them spoken of here. You ask, Does it last ? I answer, 
He lasts. You ask, Have you obtained holiness ? I 
have no attainments, I have only an attitude, I am 
surrendered on my side that is all ; and my prayer is 
what Thou canst not consume do Thou cleanse ; what 
Thou canst not cleanse consume ; and what Thou canst 


The Keswick Convention 

neither consume nor cleanse, that counteract by Thine 
own presence." 

These testimonies show in the clearest manner that it 
is possible for men to be highly honoured, and used of 
God as ministers of the Gospel, and even as successful 
evangelists and religious leaders, and yet never truly to 
have apprehended some secrets of peace and power which 
every Christian may enjoy. 

This was the case in the experience of the founder of 
the Convention and of the others whose testimonies have 
been quoted, but one other instance may be given in 
which one, who held a position of remarkable influence 
as a writer and speaker, was led into most definite 

Two addresses had been given on the subject of the 
power of God as to character, the invitation to stand up 
being given to all who wished to claim that power. In 
spite of what it cost him, he was one to stand, but never 
was a Jordan crossed without the promised land being 
found, and he had found that his step was the last one of 
the old way of failure and defeat. He described the 
steps to him as being first : I and God, then God and I, 
but now God and not I. 

THE BIBLE READINGS entrusted to one or two chosen 
teachers have been one of the most helpful features in the 
Convention programme. Nothing is more striking than 
the manner in which it has been shown that the Word of 
God is filled from end to end with teaching as to the life 
of faith which it is the purpose of the Convention to set 
forth, and these expositions of Holy Scripture provide 
the firm foundation upon which the rest of the teaching 
is based. How this teaching is presented may best be 
seen by some instances culled from the addresses of those 
who are the recognised exponents of the Convention 
message. A characteristic utterance of the Rev. Evan 


Some Characteristics of the Message 

Hopkins may first be taken. Speaking on the text, " The 
water that I shall give him shall become in him a well " 
(St. John iv. 14, R.V.), he said: " Here we have a fresh 
experience of an old gift. You have had the water, but 
now it has become to you a spring overflowing, and the 
friction and strain have been taken out of your life. You 
say, I have no patience with that man, you need not say 
that ; look at Col. i. 2, link all might with all patience, 
and you will find the power sufficient to meet the 
requirement. But can I be patient always ? Certainly. 
But must I not make a desperate effort ? No, let the 
Lord possess you, and the impatient man becomes 
gentle ; he has Divine provision to meet the Divine 
requirement. But we cannot enter on these blessings 
unless in right relationship to God. Have we handed 
ourselves over to Him to be at His disposal ; or if we 
have dropped this and the other sin, do we really 
believe ? Many people have a faith that seeks, but not a 
faith that rests. The Lord is here, rest on Him, believe 
that He keeps you ; the responsibility of keeping you 
belongs to Him, though the responsibility of trusting 
Him to keep you belongs to you." 

On faith Dr. Pierson gave a beautiful chain in that 
same year (1897). Seven words describe the believer s 
reception of blessing : 

" Look that is receiving with the eyes. 
Hear that is receiving with the ears. 

* Take receiving with the hands. 
Taste with the mouth. 

* Come with the feet. 

* Trust with the heart. 

* Choose with the will. 

There is a common impression that Jacob got the 
blessing by wrestling, that is the way he did not get it. 
Suppose you try to wrestle when you have a dislocated 


The Keswick Convention 

thigh ! No, Jacob gave up his wrestling and took to 
praying. I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me 
and He blessed Him there: " 

The Holy Spirit and His work always have been dwelt 
upon with great fulness, and while there have been, and 
must be, some who make more of a past Pentecost and 
others more of a Pentecost present or now to come, the 
desire for His baptism or rilling, has been ever cherished 
as the deepest desire of all. 

To give any adequate account of the teaching of the 
Convention on THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT would need 
not a chapter but a volume, but a sentence of George 
Macgregor s may here be quoted : " Be filled with the 
Spirit, i.e., like an empty vessel plunged into a well, it is 
in the water, and the water is in it, or like a sponge filled 
at eve ry pore with the sea that surrounds it." 

" KEEPING " was another frequent theme. " Keeping 
is God s work," said the Bishop of Durham. " I do 
keep it every moment. It is for us, by the grace of 
God, to commit, but not for us to keep ; for us to 
commit our helplessness, for Him to take the helpless ; 
for us to say, Oh ! Lord I cannot, for Him to say, I 
am able to do more than thou canst ask or think. 
Bring the impossibility to Him, the thoughts of evil that 
have torn and poisoned you times without number. 
Confess that you do give up the case, but do commit it 
to Him. He will not disappoint your self despair. 
Bring your impossibility to Him, your serpent-thought 
shall die at the feet of Jesus, and He will keep those 
sacred feet upon it. Make a great friend of Psalm cxxi. I 
remember reading the Psalms after a declension and a 
fall, but after a renewed discovery of God s power to 
keep. I read them as if I could not stop." 

Unless I have missed my point altogether, it will be 
seen that while there is a beautiful harmony, the AIM is 


Some Characteristics of the Message 

never lost sight of on any day of the feast, viz., to impart 
the Keswick secret, what old Marshall called "The 
Gospel mystery of Sanctification." It is an open secret 
now, thanks be to God, through this movement but 
even now there, are multitudes for whom it is still " a 
fountain sealed." Only last week, at the bedside of one 
who has lived for seventy-seven years in an Evangelical 
atmosphere, I found that while the truth that Christ 
died for us was familiar, on the truth that Christ liveth 
in us, the mind was a perfect blank. It is the business 
of Keswick to fill up that blank with promises as practical 
as they are plain. 

Keswick has never sought to raise false hopes, it has 
never given to any the promise of being sinless here. 
The presence of sin in the believer deeply deplored and 
lamented, is nevertheless acknowledged in all the words 
spoken from that platform. This has been a settled 
point from the first ; in fact, it is one of the Keswick 
notes. As Theodore Monod said at Oxford, " We ought 
not to sin, and we need not sin, but as a matter of fact, 
we do sin." 

Wherein then does the teaching differ from the view 
that we are sinning every moment, in thought, word, 
and deed ? Take two words of Preb. Webb-Peploe s 
spoken in August, 1876, and giving perhaps the two sides 
of the shield : " You have not perfection in man, but 
you have a perfect Saviour." "Never be afraid of draw 
ing too near perfection, you may be sure there will 
always be limitations in you," and, "remember that our 
holiness, and that down here, is the purpose of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit." 

There has been wonderful harmony about Christ and 
His atoning work. Not a scintilla of doubt ever appeared 
at Keswick as to the proper Deity of Christ, nor as to 
the vicarious character of His sufferings. 


The Keswick Convention 

GOD AND His WORD have ever had the deepest 
reverence in all our assemblies ; His Word quite mar 
vellously so, when we consider the storm of controversy 
that has raged about it. On the top of the Buttermere 
Coach a Clergyman, who spent much of his time in writing 
for reviews, said to me, " I have been attending these 
meetings for a whole week, and what amazes me is that, 
for all I heard here, such a thing as the Higher Criticism 
might have no existence." 

It would be totally wrong to assume from this that the 
speakers at the Convention are careless of current con 
troversies with reference to the Scriptures. More than 
one has written exhaustively on this subject, and the Life 
of Faith, the organ of the Convention, has contained 
many learned and thoughtful articles upon these great 
questions of the day. These, however, are problems out 
side the aim of Convention. 

A few sentences from words spoken at Keswick by Dr. 
Andrew Murray, whose books on the holy life are very 
widely known, may suitably close this review of the 
teaching of the Convention. 

The first was on " But not utterly." " Listen to God s 
five terrible words about Saul s sin rebellion, witchcraft, 
stubbornness, iniquity, idolatry, all this when a soul 
disputes God s voice by doing nine-tenths and leaving 
a tenth undone." 

The next was on " Carnal and Spiritual." " People go 
away from meetings saying how beautiful, but not helped 
one step ; the carnal state rendering it impossible for a 
man to see spiritual truth." 

The third was on " The pathway to the higher life." 
" Look at that splendid oak, where was it born ? In a 
grave. The acorn was put in the ground, and in that grave 
it sprouted, and sent up its bulbs. And was it only one day 
it stood in the grave ? Every day for a hundred years it 


Some Characteristics of the Message 

has stood there, and in that place of death it has found 
its life. You can get the resurrection life nowhere but in 
the grave of Jesus." 

The last address was on the words " That God may be 
all in all." Carved in cedar they have hung on my study 
wall ever since. " The whole aim of Christ s coming," 
said Dr. Murray, " of His redemption of His work in our 
hearts, is summed up here. If we do not know that this 
is so, we cannot know what He expects of us ; but if we 
do, we shall take this as our life-motto, and live it out. 
Meditate on it and on His coming that we may all 
have but one song, one hope, 




The Watchword 
of the Convention 


By Mr. Albert Head 

The secret of the blessing given at the Keswick Convention lies 
hidden in its motto, "ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS," for the closer 
we draw to " The Head " the closer we shall be drawn to one 
another. Where the King reigns, Self is dethroned, and where The 
King reigns, there is Peace, Unity, and Power. William .//. Wilson. 

The unity and love of the brethren of the Convention platform 
profoundly impress one. In no other sphere probably, is there such 
accord in " endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond 
of peace." The Spirit of the Master so evidently upon His servants 
cannot but be fruitful in their witness and ministry. S. A. 

After attending the Keswick Convention for over 25 years I con 
sider that its most striking feature is the marvellous oneness of spirit 
which exists among all Christians. We meet in a realm above what 
we might call earthly divisions and find ourselves one in Christ 
Jesus. In my judgment it is the nearest answer to our Lord s Prayer 
" That they all might be one." Edw. F. Hamilton. 

The Watchword of the Convention 

EVER since our blessed Lord uttered the remarkable 
and searching prayer contained in John xvii., there 
has existed a yearning desire amongst His people 
for a practical fulfilment of the plea, " That they all may 
be one." Though His immediate followers had been 
closely linked with Him in fellowship and in service 
during the three years of His ministry, and had just then 
reiterated their confidence in Him and His divine mission 
in the words, " We believe that Thou earnest forth from 
God," yet His reply is significant of the forecast that 
eparation, division, and discussion awaited them. " Do 
ye now believe?" said our Lord. "Behold, the hour 
cometh, yea, is now come that ye shall be scattered, every 
man to his own, and shall leave me alone : and yet 
I am not alone, because the Father is with me." No 
wonder, then, that in that unity with His Father thus 
alluded to, He should entwine this very thought into His 
prayer, " That they all may be one ; as Thou, Father, art 
in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us 
that the world may believe," so that the close union 
between the Father and the Son should become the ideal 
of the union to exist between the disciples and their 
Lord. The facts and features of this blessed union are 
clearly brought out in the figures made use of by our 
Lord and by the Apostle Paul, Branches "of the true 
Vine," " Members of His Body, of His flesh, of His 

113 I 

The Keswick Convention 

bones," " Married to another, even to Him who is raised 
from the dead." How lamentably short of the attain 
ment of this standard of union the Church of Christ on 
earth has come, is known only too well by her members, 
at the same time there has never lacked the desire, and 
in the many and varied stages of her history the objective 
of unity has been apparent, and whilst uniformity seems 
hopeless in this age and many would feel that it would 
neither be salutary nor advantageous, yet the motto, " In 
essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things 
charity," seems in a certain measure to describe the basis 
of present attainment. 

Since the Convention held at Keswick came into being 
some thirty years ago, the watchword, " All one in Christ 
Jesus," has been pre-eminently kept to the fore and may 
be said to have formed the foundation stone of the 
harmony, the brotherly love, the fellowship, and the 
manifestation of the essential truths of sanctification by 
faith, as well as of the practical results to be found in 
the way, the walk, and the work of the holy life. 

Probably there never was a time in the history of the 
Church when the unity of believers should be more 
emphasized, and the practical side of this relationship 
should be carried into abiding effect. These are 
essentially days of conventions, congresses, conferences 
and combines, in matters of common interest. Much 
more in matters spiritual, in the essentials of truth which 
indicate and treat of the separation "from" the carnal, 
and the separation " unto " the spiritual, elements to 
which the Apostle Paul alludes in 2 Corinthians vi. 14 to 
vii. I, it becomes important that those who " profess and 
call themselves Christians " should be aroused to appre 
hend their "high calling of God in Christ Jesus," and 
resting upon " those promises " should, in unity of heart 
and assemblage, inquire as to and seek to know in ex- 


The Watchword of the Convention 

perience the essential truths and practical characteristics 
of "perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 

The Keswick Convention has for years become a 
channel, and is acknowledged to be a leading exponent of 
this " blessing." In the early days of the movement, 
when the first large gatherings were held in Oxford in 
1874, and Brighton in 1875, it was a frequent question, 
"Have you received the blessing!" By this inquiry it 
was intended either to gain the assurance of a testimony 
in the affirmative, or to give the opportunity for expression 
of a desire to possess the experience in which so many 
were rejoicing, or to tell of some hindrance or lack of 
knowledge which might be removed or explained. The 
unity of sentiment and fellowship which was apparent 
then and the blessing coveted, has not ceased nay, verily, 
has been in continual force during these many years of 
Conventions at Keswick, and therein lies the solid basis 
and foundation of the unity which exists and is so con 
sistently maintained. 

What is this blessing ? it may be asked, which gives 
entrance to the path of holiness and makes for the unity 
in heart of those who are in the enjoyment of similar 
experience ? Surely it is none other than the conscious 
yielding of oneself to be " baptised into Jesus Christ " 
that the self-life may be merged into " His death." That 
being "buried with him" the disciple may in like manner 
be " raised together " with Him from the death of the 
natural man into the "newness of life" of the spiritual 
man, even " by the glory of the Father." Romans vi. 
3-5 ; Ephesians ii. 6. The testimony of the Apostle 
Paul may thus become the testimony of the believer : 
" I am crucified with Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me : " (Galatians ii. 20), and 
when this becomes consciously experienced, the 
mystery hid from ages and from generations becomes 

The Keswick Convention 

now made manifest to the saint (or sanctified believer) 
"Christ in you" (Col. i. 26-27). "Strengthened with might 
by His Spirit in the inner man that Christ may dwell in 
your hearts by faith." " That ye might be filled with all 
the fulness of God" (whatever this highest of standards 
may mean to the individual) becomes a present and 
continual blessing, the fruits whereof are known, 
cherished, and witnessed to by those members of the 
Body of Christ to whom it is vouchsafed. This 
glorious "high calling" is as much a gift, a provision, a 
promise of God, as salvation itself or the bestowal of 
the Holy Spirit. Those in this experience whether at 
Keswick or elsewhere are brought into closest fellow 
ship in the unity of the Spirit. If Heaven is to be the 
realisation of perfect unity, why may there not be a fore 
taste here below and indeed in great measure it is a 
fact. The marked sense of division and denominational- 
ism here disappears. The platform is occupied by 
representatives of many sections of the evangelical 
Churches of our land, and such is the sense of unity 
which prevails that the thought does not find expression, 
" To what denomination does the Speaker belong ? " In 
the lodging-houses wherein congregate men and women 
from most sections of the Church, one characteristic is 
patent to their minds in attending the Convention as a 
common meeting ground, and that is, that sectional 
divisions or preferences are laid aside and harmony and 
unity invariably prevail. It may be mentioned here that 
an understanding exists amongst the speakers that 
nothing of a controversial character shall be introduced 
into the addresses, that as the Convention is organised 
for the setting forth of the truths of scriptural holiness, 
it would be inexpedient, confusing and unedifying that 
matter of this description should colour the substance of 
any address. Besides this, it is obvious that any 


The Watchword of the Convention 

approach to a strife of tongues would tend to disturb the 
fellowship and unity which is of the utmost importance 
and is such a leading feature of these annual gatherings. 

" Does it work ? " may be asked. " Yes, indeed it 
does," is the reply. The testimonies given and received 
from all sections of the community are most hearty and 
appreciative of the spirit and tone of the Conventions, 
and many are struck with this very aspect of unity the 
blessing received becomes the blessing communicated, 
and the love which binds together at Keswick becomes 
the uniting factor in many a family and many a station 
in heathen lands, besides many a mission and missionary 

Undoubtedly there exists in the minds of some clergy, 
ministers and workers, a prejudice against " Keswick." 
Whatever may have been the origin of such a feeling or 
sentiment, the testimony of those who have been subject 
thereto and have attended a Convention and seen for 
themselves, has invariably been that there is really no 
ground for the objections held, and that they regret they 
had not attended before and entered upon the experience 
of the blessing set forth. It is not to be wondered at that 
prejudice exists. Every movement that is set on foot to 
bring increased light, liberty, deliverance from and 
victory over sin to the children of God, must meet with 
opposition sometimes from ignorance and prejudice, and 
sometimes from lack of apprehension of the inward life 
and teaching of the Word of God. This is a fitting 
opportunity to extend an invitation to any readers, who 
would know and see for themselves, to attend a Con 
vention at Keswick, and there is little doubt that an 
earnest seeking for blessing will result in a definite find 
ing that misconception will vanish and a new light will 
dawn upon the soul revealing the " beauty of holiness " 
as a bright reality. 

The Keswick Convention 

As the members of the Student Volunteer Missionary 
Union have now before them the watchword adopted a 
few years ago " The evangelisation of the world in this 
generation," so it behoves the Church of Christ to be up 
and doing with renewed earnestness to attain a similar 
objective. Victory and a successful issue to a campaign 
can only result if there is unity amongst all ranks under 
skilful leadership. The Psalmist indicated (Psalm 
cxxxiii.) that the condition of high priestly blessing from 
Jehovah Himself was " unity." The Apostle Paul 
exhorts the Church at Ephesus to endeavour " to keep 
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," a message 
that is of peculiar force and application in this our day 
of problems and perplexities in the religious and educa 
tional world, and after alluding to the various gifts of the 
Spirit conferred upon members of the early Church, he 
points out the pivot upon which the fabric of organisation 
is to revolve, " the unity of faith " centering in the " Son 
of God who is the head of the body, even Jesus Christ." 
If believers would study the ideal standard set before 
them in that message Ephesians iv. 11-16 there is 
surely a marvellous opportunity in the present age of 
attaining to some greater degree " the measure of the 
stature of the fulness of Christ," setting aside and 
shunning the " wind of doctrine," " the sleight of men," 
" the cunning craftiness," and in the place thereof seek 
ing to speak " the truth in love " and " to grow up unto 
Christ." Then would there be a prospect that there 
might come forth from the Church of to-day a " body 
fitly framed and knit together" making increase "unto 
the building up of itself in love." 

This is the " unity " at which Keswick aims this is 
the teaching which the leaders of the Convention held 
there, seek to give, and this is the practical basis upon 
which it is sought to blend hearts together with Christ 


The Watchword of the Convention 

and then with one another in His mystical Body this is 
in some measure the fulfilment now of the Pentecostal 
conditions where we read, "they were all with one accord 
in one place." It was on this occasion that the Holy 
Spirit was outpoured upon the obedient company who 
were waiting and watching for the fulfilment of the 
"promise of the Father," and it was when He came and 
"filled all the house" and filled them all, that the Fire 
fell and the Holy Spirit in full possession, fused them 
into the love which quickened their faith and gave them 
the joy of having " all things common." 

Finally, this occasion proved to be the answer to our 
Lord s prayer for unity and for service " I in them, and 
Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and 
that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and 
hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me." And if on the 
day of Pentecost, why not in full measure at Keswick, 
why not wherever believers are now to be found in our 
beloved land, why not wherever the " new man " has 
place, " where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circum 
cision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor 
free : but Christ is all, and in all ? " 



Some of the Results 


By the Rev. C G. Moore 

The Message of the Keswick Convention and others, that Salvation 
in its fulness means Service as the outcome, and the teaching that a 
definite step must be taken, a simple and momentary trust exercised, 
and that He is able to keep, and to enable for whatever He calls us 
to, has been a blessing to thousands. F. L. Tottenham, Capt. 

The Keswick Convention reminds one of Gideon s army of 32,000 
men, who, feeling strongly the oppression of the enemy and the 
desire for deliverance, responded gladly to the leader s appeal. Yet 
two out of every three went back at the first opportunity. The look 
backward was a more longing one than the forward look. Many of 
those who come to Keswick are not willing to go on with God. 
They are willing to face sin ; to see their need but not willing to 
die to sin and to crucify self. Others go further, as did Gideon s 
remaining 10,000. But they follow nature more than grace; they 
seek comfort more than Christ. And these also miss the joy of 
victory, perhaps only for a time. The remnant, led by the Holy 
Spirit, go on to victory. Their light shines out of a broken self; 
their witness is for their God and Saviour, and with joy they conquer 
as they stand. F. W. Ainley, 

Some of the Results 

THE results of Keswick and its teaching, as I have 
known them, arrange themselves into four groups, 
viz., those (i) in my own personal Christian experi 
ence ; (2) in the speakers at the Conventions ; (3) in the 
hearers at the Conventions ; and (4) in the Church of God 
at large. 

FIRST. I would briefly speak, with deep gratitude to 
God, of what I owe personally to Convention teaching. 
It was my great privilege to attend the " Union Meeting 
for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness" held at 
Oxford, August 29 to September 7, 1874, which is 
generally regarded as the beginning of the movement. I 
was at that time a very young minister in my first charge. 
My dear father, the late Rev. John Moore, was an 
intimate friend of President Finney, and my early 
Christian life had been powerfully influenced by the 
teaching of the great American preacher. What deep 
and searching conviction I passed through ! How relent 
lessly the whole claim of Christ was pressed upon my 
conscience ! To those experiences, terrible at the time, 
I am sure I owe some of the most precious elements of 
my spiritual life. I cannot remember that my theo 
logical training and environment had any special 
influence upon me. It was my joy to spend myself in 
Christ s service, and His blessing was not withheld from 
my ministry ; but how much was lacking ! 


The Keswick Convention 

In the early summer of 1874 the late Mr. Pearsall 
Smith about whom I then knew almost nothing but that 
he was an American gentleman was holding some meet 
ings for students at Cambridge. As I was not far away, I 
determined to go to Cambridge and call upon him, in the 
hope of getting the most recent news of Mr. Finney. 
How well I remember him coming into the room where 
I awaited him ! He was suffering from a prostrating 
headache which must have made effort of any sort a 
torture to him. Yet how kind, how gracious, how 
courteous he was ! I knew nothing about his teaching, 
and I felt no particular interest in his work ; and of these 
facts he soon became aware. So after giving me the 
information I sought about Mr. Finney, he did not 
attempt to prolong the interview. But as I was leaving 
he put into my hand a copy of Mrs. Smith s book, 
"Frank: The Record of a Happy Life." It would be 
impossible to report the revolution in my religious 
thought and life effected by that book. No book I have 
ever read since has had anything like the same effect. 
I suspect that to-day I should find nothing in it of special 
import ; but then it spoke with the voice of God to my 
inmost condition. Moreover, it prepared me to go to the 
Oxford Meeting a few months later. 

Now, in this first contact with Keswick teaching, what 
was imparted to me ? I will mention only three things : 
(a) A clearer understanding of the New Testament 
emphasis on faith as the means and instrument of that 
fellowship with Christ which is the root of Christian 
living, (b) A new spirit and atmosphere for Christian 
life. I had never been in meetings where the Holy 
Spirit had such power and liberty, and where His choice 
fruits of love, joy, peace, meekness, gentleness were so 
plentiful, (c) A vision of Christ in close, interested, 
loving, helpful contact with the whole life of His 


Some of the Results 

disciple. The distinction between the religious and the 
common in Christian living vanished, and has never 

I returned home from Oxford somewhat dazed by the 
new glory that had burst upon my view, but exceeding 
joyful, and fully purposed in God s strength to persevere 
in my poor attempts to live my life by the faith of the 
Son of God. From that hour to this He has been my 
faithful, ever-present Lord, Saviour and Friend. Of 
course I began at once to pass on to my people the good 
things I had learned, and the fruits of that ministry abide 
to this day. 

SECOND. Let us glance at the results of this movement 
in those who have been the speakers at the Conventions. 
To these results, we venture to think, the greatest 
importance attaches. If the speakers have influenced 
the Conventions, the Conventions have powerfully reacted 
upon the speakers. 

First of all, in this work we have found some of the 
truest and richest Christian fellowship we have ever 
known. What holy, happy heart intercourse lives behind 
a Convention ! How many hours filled with heaven s own 
joy can we recall ! And as each speaker returns to his 
own special sphere, in his character, his temper, his joy, 
his influence, he becomes a power for lifting other lives 
on to the level where he himself has been so enriched. 

Again, the Conventions have tended to confirm the 
speakers in balanced and Scriptural views of the truth. 
A man who rarely hears any voice but his own is in great 
peril, for fellowship is the law of both truth and safety. 
But at the Conventions the year through it is a speaker s 
privilege to listen again and again to his brethren each 
presenting the truth in their own special way. Within 
the recognised limits there are remarkable differences 


The Keswick Convention 

amongst the speakers in their conception and presenta 
tion of truth ; and their individuality, it need scarcely be 
added, has complete liberty of expression. The conse 
quence is that a speaker constantly listening to his 
brethren finds his thinking checked and supplemented in 
a way which powerfully tends to give balance and breadth 
to his own views. He also learns profoundly to appre 
ciate the diversity of the gifts of the one Spirit. He 
many times sees, and rejoices to see, quite another line 
of things than his own made effective in the hearts of the 
hearers. The present writer has had the privilege of 
listening to hundreds of addresses from fellow speakers, 
and very few of these have failed in some way to enrich 
and bless him. Moreover he has learned to listen to an 
address which brings no message or benefit to himself, 
and yet to expect to find that it is the very voice of God to 
some other soul. What an education is found in all this ! 
And just here we get some understanding of how God 
in His great mercy has preserved Keswick from the 
extravagances, the eccentricities, and the catastrophies 
which have so often developed in connection with " holiness 
teaching." " The manifestation of the Spirit is given to 
every man to profit withal " ; and none can say to another, 
" I have no need of thee." Such fellowship as Keswick 
fosters is God s provision for both sanity and safety. 

We now come to our THIRD head the results of the 
Conventions in the hearers who attend them. And the 
first thing to be said is this, that more conversions take 
place in the meetings than many people imagine. We 
have known of extraordinary cases ; and our own feeling 
is that there are many men and women who are more 
likely to turn to God in a Convention than in any other 
place on earth. It was our privilege to be associated 
with our dear friend the late J. Hudson Taylor, as the 


Some of the Results 

first Keswick deputation to the Blankenburg Conference 
in Germany. We took it for granted, in view of the 
special character of that Convention, that all who 
attended were Christians, and all the addresses we gave 
were for believers. But we were told afterwards that a 
number of unconverted persons had been present, and 
that every one of these had yielded to Christ ! The 
gracious influence of the Spirit, the heavenly atmosphere, 
the joy and peace manifest in those assembled, all tend 
to create a powerful motive in any heart at all open 
towards God. 

The next point is this, that the Conventions have 
given multitudes an example and an experience of 
Christian unity which have been most potent for good. 
Denominational and sectional matters are for the time 
being dismissed, and the great central themes dear to all 
spiritual believers are alone in view. Yet we have never 
once heard of a person being unsettled in their ecclesias 
tical relations through attending a Convention. As a 
rule, the larger fellowship invigorates and inspires, and 
sends a worker back to his own post to be more efficient 
in his own special duties and loyalties. We may be 
mistaken, but we have long been of the conviction that in 
our Conventions there is a realization of " All one in 
Christ Jesus" as personal experience such as is to be 
gained almost nowhere else. Then, who shall estimate 
the happy issues of the Christian friendships between 
members of different churches formed and fostered year 
by year at Keswick, and in a lesser degree at other Con 
ventions ? "The fellowship of the Holy Ghost" the 
Holy Spirit ever works towards fellowship ; and in our 
Conventions does He not find some of His choicest 
opportunities ? As a matter of fact there is to-day a 
reality and largeness of sympathy amongst spiritual 
Christians of all nations and churches of extraordinary 


The Keswick Convention 

value and significance ; and that this is a result due in 
measure to God s blessing upon the Keswick movement 
there is ample evidence. 

But to pass on. The Conventions have benefited 
very many by showing them how to use the Bible for 
spiritual purposes. Keswick does honour the Word of 
God, and in that fact is found a chief secret of its 
influence. It is almost impossible to imagine a speaker 
standing up without a Bible in his hand. To many 
hearers this unceasing appeal to the Scriptures is a new 
experience : and the effect upon both their life and 
service is most momentous. We have a friend who is 
one of the most powerful preachers of the Word of God 
to the multitude in all Britain ; and he gladly confesses 
that it was at Keswick especially from the ministry of 
Mr. Hubert Brooke that he learned how to use his 
Bible. That the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God 
one can scarcely fail to realize experimentally in any 
Convention. The one weapon relied upon is the Word 
spoken in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 
Not, happily, that there are not many present who in 
their own church or chapel are familiar with the might 
and ministry of the quickened Word ; but there are 
always those who, alas ! are not. The supreme glory 
of the Scriptures is just this, that they are the means 
and instrument, through the Spirit, of a present, con 
scious, intelligent fellowship with the Father and with 
His Son Jesus Christ, which is the essence of the 
eternal life; and the Conventions render a vast service 
by their special revelation of this fact. 

Last of all, we come to the results wrought by the 
teaching imparted to those who attend the Conventions. 
The actual truth is that God has at a thousand points 
met and blessed His people through the teaching. In 
many cases the great truths concerning the offices of the 


Some of the Results 

Holy Spirit, the all-sufficiency of Christ, and the function 
of faith in the Christian life, have brought about a great 
and critical new departure, which has had momentous 
consequences. Take an illustration. There recently 
died a gentleman it was our privilege to know who was 
one of the most honoured and beloved laymen in the 
great denomination to which he belonged. Up till 
nearly sixty years of age he lived a Christian life which 
had no unusual influence or ministry. Then he went to 
a Keswick Convention, and God met him there in a way 
which verily transformed him. He had a lovely home, 
equipped with all that could minister lawful pleasure. 
One day, after the great change, having taken us through 
the grounds and the billiard room, and so on, in speech 
utterly sincere and happy, he assured us that it was all 
nothing to him now, and that God had given him far 
sweeter joys. He was deeply interested in mission work 
amongst the masses of our large towns. To this he 
liberally devoted his strength and his wealth ; and his 
example and influence right on through the years to the 
end were a benediction to the whole of the great church 
to which he belonged. Yes, in God s mercy, attendance 
at a convention has been the gateway for very many into 
a life filled with the presence and power of God. 

But life is more than its great crises, and Divine grace 
and light are as necessary for the long, patient journey as 
at the dividing of the ways. It is impossible to give any 
adequate idea of the manner in which God s help has 
come to His people in all phases and vicissitudes of need 
through the ministry of Keswick. Much intercourse with 
individuals, and a large correspondence enable us to 
speak here with assurance. To put it briefly, Keswick 
and its teaching have been permitted a very real share in 
the work of building up the New Testament Christianity 
of our time. 

129 K 

The Keswick Convention 

FOURTH. A few words only about the results of the 
Convention movement in the Church of God generally. 

Keswick stands for absolute loyalty to the Bible as the 
Word of God, for the great experiences of spiritual 
religion, for large fellowship amongst all who love our 
Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and for unreserved 
devotion to the Kingdom of God. Naturally, it has 
found sympathetic friends in all lands and churches ; and 
these, in their turn, have extended its influence, and 
propagated its teaching. Without any design or inten 
tion on the part of its leaders, but in the providence and 
favour of God, Keswick has become a factor in the life of 
the universal Church. By its literature and its deputa 
tions, as well as through those who have come directly 
under its influence, it is permitted a world-wide ministry. 
God grant that the movement may be kept so lowly, so 
sincere, so dependent, so trustful, so loyal that it may 
continue to be made to multitudes a channel of living 
water ! 



The Missionary Element 


By Mr. Eugene Stock 

A cry, as of pain, 
Again and again, 

Is borne o er the deserts and wide-spreading main : 
A cry from the lands that in darkness are lying, 
A cry from the hearts that in sorrow are sighing" ; 
It comes unto me ; 
It comes unto thee ; 
Oh what oh what shall the answer be ? 

Oh ! hark to the call ; 
It comes unto all 

Whom Jesus hath rescued from sin s deadly thrall ; 
" Come over and help us ! in bondage we languish ; 
Come over and help us ! we die in our anguish ; " 
It comes unto me ; 
It comes unto thee ; 
Oh what oh what shall the answer be ? 

It comes to the soul 
That Christ hath made whole, 
The heart that is longing His name to extol ; 
It comes with a chorus of pitiful wailing ; 
It comes with a plea which is strong and prevailing : 
" For Christ s sake " to me ; 
" For Christ s sake " to thee ; 
Oh what oh what shall the answer be ? 

We come, Lord, to Thee, 
Thy servants are we ; 

Inspire Thou the answer, and true it shall be ! 
If here we should work, or afar Thou should st send us, 
O grant that Thy mercy may ever attend us, 
That each one may be 
A witness for Thee, 
Till all the earth shall Thy glory see ! 


The Missionary Element. 

call to entire dedication of body, soul, and spirit 

Ito the service of the Lord, which has been an 
essential part of the message of Keswick to the 
Church of Christ, could not fail, in time, to send some 
of those it influenced into the foreign mission field. 
The question which many were asking from the bottom 
of the heart, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" 
was sure in some cases to receive the answer, " Depart, 
for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles." If the 
Lord s great commission to His Church is to proclaim 
the glad tidings of Redemption to all mankind, it could 
not, in the long run, be disregarded at Keswick. 

It is not at all surprising that this was not so at first. 
The early Conventions were charactised by the same 
feature which had marked the Revival period of 1858-62, 
the Parochial Missions of 1872 and following years, and 
the Moody & Sankey campaigns of both 1874-75 and 
1882-84. They one and all, at the time, had scarcely 
any connexion with, or effect upon, the Foreign Mission 
enterprise. Indirectly, and eventually, they have all 
helped it greatly ; but some years had to elapse first. 
Even at the Mildmay Conference, which did give a 
definite place to Missions at its afternoon gatherings, the 
majority of the agencies represented were Home Missions 
of various kinds, and these proved by far the most 
popular. All the time the large Missionary Societies 


The Keswick Convention 

were at work, as they had been for three-quarters of a 
century or more, but they moved on different lines and 
appealed for the most part to different Christian circles. 
No reflection ought to be cast upon Canon Harford- 
Battersby, Mr. Bowker, and the other Keswick leaders, 
because in the Convention they concentrated all their 
influence upon one aim, the promotion of Practical 
Holiness. If Practical Holiness resulted in individuals 
going to the heart of Africa or the heart of China, they 
were unfeignedly glad ; but their object was, so to speak, 
to set the engine going and keep the fire burning ; they 
were not pointsmen to turn the train on to this or that 

There were two men, however, whose minds and hearts 
were more fully set upon the Evangelization of the 
World. One was Hudson Taylor, the founder and 
director of the China Inland Mission. He was, indeed, 
only at the Convention now and then, when at home 
from China; but when there he was a valued speaker, 
and though he never pleaded for his own Mission, nor 
indeed in any exceptional way for China, he did set forth 
with fervent earnestness the claim of Christ to the 
service of His people in making His name known to all 
nations. The other was Reginald Radcliffe, the 
Liverpool solicitor who had been so prominent a leader in 
the Revival Movement of 1860, who had been the first to 
hold a Gospel service in a London theatre, and who had 
preached Christ all over the land and in many distant 
parts of the world. He had only come to " see " foreign 
Missions after many years of that work ; but when he 
once did " see " them, when his eyes were opened to the 
unique position which the Lord s great commission 
occupies in the inspired records of His last instructions 
to His disciples, Radcliffe made it the chief task of his 
later years to arouse the Christian circles in which he 


The Missionary Element 

had influence to a new sense of the paramount claims of 
the non-Christian world. At two or three successive 
Conventions he invited friends to his lodgings for daily 
prayer on the subject; and he tried to persuade Mr. 
Bowker, who presided after Canon Battersby s death, to 
include in the programme a missionary meeting. But 
the venerable chairman said No. " Missions meant 
secretaries quarrelling for collections, and Keswick could 
not stoop to that." 

However, there were tokens from time to time of the 
change that was presently coming. In 1885, for instance, 
at a testimony meeting, three young clergymen stood up 
together, and publicly dedicated themselves to the 
mission field.* In 1886 and 1887 Mr. Radcliffe obtained 
Mr. Bowker s permission to use the tent for a missionary 
meeting on the Saturday, which day had always been 
left free for excursions ; but Bowker closed the official 
proceedings, notwithstanding, with the Praise Meeting 
early on Saturday morning, and then " lent " the Tent 
to Radcliffe for a distinct gathering " unconnected with 
the Convention." In the latter year this meeting proved 
to have great results. Bowker (who declined to be 
present himself) had, earlier in the week, read out a letter 
from the Rev. J. R. Longley Hall, a C.M.S. missionary 
at Jerusalem, appealing for ladies of education and 
private means to go and work (on their own account) in 
Palestine ; and this letter was pointedly referred to by 

* The sequel of this is interesting. One of the three, the Rev. 
C. H. Gill, went out a year or two later. He, after nearly twenty 
years work in India, became Bishop of Travancore and Cochin. 
All that time it was a rather sad reflection that neither of the other 
two had gone to the mission field. But this year (1907) the Arch 
bishop of Canterbury has appointed the Rev. Canon Lander, of 
Liverpool, to be Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong, in succession to the 
lamented Bishop Hoare, and he is another of the three. 


The Keswick Convention 

one of the speakers at the Saturday meeting, among 
whom were Radcliffe himself as chairman, Hudson 
Taylor, Prebendary Webb-Peploe, James Johnson (a 
Negro clergyman, now a bishop), and the present writer. 
The result of the meeting was that more than thirty 
persons, individually and separately, applied to one or 
other of the speakers with a view to missionary service ; 
and the next two days were occupied by long private 
interviews with them. Many of these persons eventually 
went out, and some are missionaries to this day. 

Mr. Bowker was duly informed of so striking an 
episode ; and before the next Convention came round he 
had avowed his adhesion to the great principle that, as 
he expressed it, " Consecration and the Evangelization of 
the World ought to go together." The result was that 
the official programme for 1888 included a missionary 
meeting on the Saturday, which was attended by all the 
leaders, and which was the first of that great series of 
gatherings with which all are now familiar. " The 
longest and the shortest," said a friend present, " of all 
the Keswick meetings." The longest, for it was timed 
to last three hours, from 10 to I o clock ; the shortest, 
because the large number of speakers, only allowed a few 
minutes each, kept attention constantly alive, and pre 
vented any feeling of weariness. In that same year 
began the daily Missionary Prayer Meeting, held at first 
in the Drill Hall and afterwards in the Pavilion, and 
lasting 20 to 30 minutes squeezed in between the other 
morning gatherings, which was for many years attended 
daily by hundreds of people. Only last year (1906) was 
it given a whole hour at 7 a.m., and a tent to itself. 

An important incident in that first official Saturday 
meeting of 1888 must now be mentioned. In the middle 
of the proceedings an envelope was brought to the Chair 
man, which contained a 10 note, with a slip of paper 


The Missionary: Element 

stating that the donor offered it as " the nucleus of a fund 
for sending out a Keswick missionary." There had been 
no intention to have a collection at all, any possible 
thank-offerings having their proper application, as on the 
other days, to the expenses of the Convention. But the 
little message on the slip of paper was naturally read out 
to the meeting, and, to the astonishment of all, within 
the next hour money and promises came up spontaneously 
to the platform, amounting to about 150, the liveliest 
interest being manifested as note after note kept coming 
up from every part of the Tent. Before the end of the 
year these contributions had reached the sum of 908 
for the Keswick Mission Fund, besides 151 which was 
earmarked for existing Missionary Societies. The donor, 
then a Cambridge undergraduate, little thought what 
his God-given thought (as it may surely be called) was 
destined to produce. 

The question at once arose, What was to be done 
with the money ? On the one hand, it could not be 
rightly divided among the existing Missionary Societies, 
or there might be a danger of Mr. Bowker s old fear being 
realized. On the other hand, " Keswick " could not 
rightly start a new Society. Eventually the consideration 
prevailed that the Keswick message was not one for the 
non-Christian world, but for the Christian Church ; and 
it was determined to send out men qualified to deliver 
that message to the Colonies and the Mission Field to call 
Christian Churches to "practical holiness." The first 
man to be sent was the Rev. George Grubb, who had 
already been in India and Ceylon as one of a party sent 
with a similar object by the Church Missionary Society. 
The result was the remarkable series of Missions con 
ducted by Mr. Grubb and a band of younger men in 
Ceylon, South India, Australia, and New Zealand, which 
were accompanied by much manifest blessing from on 


The Keswick Convention 

high, and which afterwards issued in more important 
fruits than were dreamed of at the time. Subsequently, the 
Revs. Hubert Brooke, C. Inwood, and G. H. C. Macgregor 
went to Canada on a similar errand ; and year by year 
since then, other brethren have gone forth as " Keswick 
missioncrs," not " missionaries," to China, South Africa, 
South America, the West Indies, and various parts of 
Europe. Mr. Inwood especially has done great service 
by his visits to many parts of the world. Few movements 
have been more manifestly blessed of God. 

Year by year the offerings at the Saturday Missionary 
Meeting, and at one held since 1889 on the Wednesday 
afternoon in the interest definitely of this " Keswick 
Mission " (the Saturday meeting always including 
Missions generally), have sufficed, with other occasional 
gifts, to provide the necessary funds. But from the 
first there were some who felt that a part at least of 
the contributions should go to Missions to the Heathen. 
It was therefore eventually arranged to have Keswick 
"missionaries" as well as " missioners." But not to 
start a regular organization which would conduct its own 
Missions with all their many ramifications and conse 
quent responsibilities. The plan agreed upon was to 
support individual missionaries in all cases such as had 
accepted the " Keswick message " in its fulness who were 
already on the staff of recognized Missionary Societies, 
the money being paid direct to the different Societies for 
their support respectively, and the brethren or sisters 
themselves remaining members in each case of the 
Society s staff and under its direction. The first so 
adopted was Miss Amy Wilson-Carmichael, for whom a 
special private subscription adequate for her support was 
offered. She is, as is now well-known, working in South 
India as an agent of the Church of England Zenana 
Society, along with the Rev. T. Walker, of the C.M.S., 


The Missionary Element 

who is also now a " Keswick missionary " on the same 
plan. Others are working in India, China, Japan, Cape 
Colony, and other fields, in connection with the C.M.S., 
the China Inland Mission, the South Africa General 
Mission, &c.; and one, a German clergyman, among the 

Such are some of the results of that memorable 
anonymous gift of 10 at that first official missionary 
meeting in 1888. Truly we may say, What hath God 
wrought ! 

The Keswick Convention, in the past twenty years, has 
had a powerful influence indeed upon the Missionary 
Enterprise. In three distinct ways : 

1. By its sending forth of " missioners," and helping 
the Societies to send forth " missionaries," as just 
described. Let it be added that the visits of Mr. Grubb 
to Australia and New Zealand and of Mr. Hudson 
Taylor also, previously, to Australia had much influence 
in preparing the minds and hearts of our Colonial 
brethren for the Auxiliary Associations subsequently 
established among them in connection with both the 
China Inland Mission and the C.M.S. which Associa 
tions have sent out between them nearly a hundred 
missionaries, to China, Japan, India, Africa, &c., and 
provide the funds for their maintenance. 

2. By calling forth offers of missionary service at the 
Convention itself, or as the result of its solemn teaching. 
All the Societies have gained recruits from Keswick. No 
other single agency can compare with it in fruitfulness in 
this respect. There is not a mission-field which is not 
indebted to the influence of Keswick for one or more of 
its labourers in some cases for several of them. In this 
connection it is worth recording that the first address in 
this country of Mr. R. P. Wilder, when he came from 
America to try to start the Student Volunteer Movement 


The Keswick Convention 

in our midst, was given at the Saturday Missionary 
Meeting of 1891 ; and that speech called forth one who 
became a leader in the movement, and is now a 
missionary of the Free Church of Scotland in Nyasaland. 
3. By its influence upon the minds and hearts of 
missionaries who have attended the Convention while on 
furlough. For many years it has been the custom for 
some of the Societies to engage, or authorize private 
friends to engage, lodgings for parties of their missionary 
brethren and sisters, in order that they may have, by 
God s blessing, the quickening and the comfort it may 
be the needed correction which the teaching is so often 
used by the Holy Spirit to supply. Very many have 
gone back to their fields of labour sometimes to very 
discouraging and trying fields refreshed and strength 
ened by the Keswick Convention. Some who have been 
troubled with doubts have had them dissolved ; some who, 
though clear in doctrine and sincere in motive, have been 
lacking in fervour, or in patience, or in self-sacrifice, have 
found a fresh enduement of the Holy Ghost, a " baptism" 
as some would say, a " filling" as others would call it, a 
definite blessing, at any rate the particular phraseology 
matters little. Actual cases could be named. Let one 
illustration, which it is now permissible to give, suffice. 
In 1890, a house for C.M.S. missionaries was arranged, 
with Dr. Handley Moule (now Bishop of Durham) and 
Mrs. Moule as host and hostess. Among the guests was 
the Rev. J. C. Hoare, of Mid-China. Dr. Moule arranged 
a little excursion on the Friday afternoon, during which, 
in a field near Lodore, he asked the brethren present to 
give their personal experience of the week. Mr. Hoare, 
the last man to be affected by anything that could be 
called a " gushing " influence, spoke in quiet and 
restrained language of the blessing he had received. 
Next day, at the great Saturday meeting, one of the slips 


The Missionary Element 

of paper sent up was from him, intimating that he and 
his wife would thenceforth take no pecuniary allowances 
from his Society. He afterwards became Bishop of 
Victoria, Hong Kong, and was drowned in the typhoon 
of September, 1906. 


The Keswick 
Mission Council 


By the Rev. J. Battersby Harford 

The Master comes ! He calls for thee 
Go forth at His Almighty Word : 

Obedient to His last command ; 
And tell to those who never heard, 

Who sit in deepest shades of night, 

That Christ has come to give them light ! 

The Master calls ! Arise and go ; 

How blest His messenger to be ! 
He who has given thee liberty, 

Now bids thee set the captives free ; 
Proclaim His mighty power to save, 
Who for the world His life-blood gave. 

The Master calls ! Shall not thy heart 
In warm responsive love reply/ 

" Lord, here am I, send me, send me 
Thy willing slave to live or die: 

An instrument unfit indeed, 

Yet Thou wilt give me what I need." 

And if thou canst not go, yet bring 

An offering of a willing heart ; 
Then, though thou tarriest at home, 

Thy God shall give thee too thy part. 
The Messengers of peace upbear 
In ceaseless and prevailing prayer. 

Short is the time for service true, 

For soon shall dawn that glorious day 

When, all the harvest gathered in, 

Each faithful heart shall hear Him say, 

" My child, well done ! your toil is o er 

Enter My joy for evermore ! " 


The Keswick Mission Council* 

MR. EUGENE STOCK has given an account of the 
first beginnings of the missionary activities in 
connection with the Keswick Convention. It is 
my pleasant duty to carry the subject a stage further and 
to tell how those beginnings have blossomed out into 
organized work and service rendered by Missioners and 
Missionaries in foreign lands under the auspices of the 
Mission Council. 

The first 10, given by an anonymous friend at the 
missionary meeting held at the close of the Convention 
on Saturday, July 28th, 1888, drew forth many similar 
gifts, and by the end of the year 1,060 had been con 
tributed for the development of missionary work, of 
which 908 was specially earmarked for work in connec 
tion with the Keswick Convention. 

A. 1888 TO 1896. 

For eight years the work grew steadily under the 
presidency of Mr. Robert Wilson, the co-founder of the 
Convention and for so many years its beloved Chairman. 
Mr. Wilson gathered round him an informal Committee 
to advise him from time to time in the management of 
the Fund, but he was himself the heart and soul of the 
new movement, and to him an immense debt was due for 
the loving and whole-hearted devotion with which he 
gave himself to the cause. 

145 L 

The Keswick Convention 


Mr. Wilson and his friends lost no time in getting to 
work. At the early meetings the general lines on which 
the work of administering the Keswick Convention 
Mission Fund was to be carried on were discussed. The 
Committee gradually felt their way towards the principles 
of action, which were finally worked out at a meeting 
held in August, 1902. A memorandum was drawn up by 
the Rev. Hubert Brooke after the meeting, which was 
never formally passed by the Committee, but which 
actually formulates the conclusions arrived at. This 
memorandum may be epitomised as follows : 

The Mission Fund is and shall be mainly employed 
for the two distinct purposes given below. 

1. The first use is to provide for Conventions or 
Missions in other countries on the Keswick plan, with the 
express purpose of addressing chiefly those who are 
already Christians and stirring them up to whole-hearted 
consecration and service. 

2. The second main use of the Fund is that of 
supporting missionaries for direct work among the 
heathen, and in carrying out this purpose the Committee 
mean to make full use of the organization of existing 
Missionary Societies and in no sense to form themselves 
into a new Society. 

In employing the Fund for the second of these 
purposes the following procedure shall be adopted. 

(a). A Sub -Committee shall be formed to receive 
applications and consider the fitness of candidates. 

(b). The Sub-Committee, upon approval of the candi 
date as a Keswick Missionary, shall decide with what 
Missionary Society the candidate is to work. 

(c). In each case the candidate shall then be proposed 
for acceptance by the Society chosen and shall occupy 
the same position, with regard to that Society, as any 


The Keswick Mission Council 

other worker in it. The pecuniary support alone will be 
provided from the Keswick fund ; all supervision and 
direction will be received from the Society. 

In July, 1895, the following rider was added : 

If after being some time in the field and under 
exceptional circumstances a Keswick missionary desires 
some change of sphere or character of work, and the 
matter cannot be arranged through the ordinary channels, 
the missionary shall remain under the local direction of 
the Society until the matter can be referred home to the 
Committees of the Society and of the Keswick Mission 
Fund ; and the decision of the Keswick Committee, acting 
in conjunction with the Society, shall be final ? 

In accordance with these principles the Committee 
of the Keswick Mission Fund took action in both 
directions, i.e., in sending out (I.) Missioners, (II.) 
Missionaries, and (III.) in certain other ways. 

I. As we should naturally expect, it was much easier 
to find Missioners ready to go forth at once than 
Missionaries. The latter required to be carefully selected 
and in many cases trained before they could go to the 
Mission Field. 

We will therefore look first at the remarkable series of 
Missions which were held in the first eight years. The 
Rev. G. C. Grubb and Mr. E. C. Millard visited in 1889- 
1890 Ceylon, South India, Australia, New Zealand, in 
1890-1891 the Cape and South Africa, in 1893 South 
America. On the first of these missions they were 
accompanied by Mr. Walter R. Campbell and Mr. W. A. 

Many will remember reading the story of these 
missions, as it was told by Mr. Millard in " What God 
hath wrought " and " The Neglected Continent." They 
were more thrilling than any novel and full of inspiration 
to faith and love. 


The Keswick Convention 

The Rev. Wm. Haslam and Mr. W. R. Campbell went 
out to India in the autumn of 1890 for six months mission 

The Revs. Hubert Brooke, G. H. C. MacGregor, and 
C. Inwood visited Canada in the same year in which 
Mr. Grubb went to South America. 

In 1894 the Rev. J. Gelson Gregson, an ex-Indian 
Army Chaplain, left England once more to visit South 
Africa, Ceylon, and India, and in the following year the 
Rev. G. C. Grubb went to Egypt and Smyrna, while 
Mrs. Constantine, of Smyrna, sailed for India and Miss 
M. Gollock and Miss Van Sommer for Egypt for special 
work amongst women. The good done through these 
various missions, in which the teaching of a full salvation 
was preached in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in 
many parts of the world, can never be fully known on 
earth ! The day will declare it ! But that it was very 
remarkable those who know best will be the first to 
declare. One testimony may be quoted. Mr. Eugene 
Stock, writing from Sydney in June, 1892, to Mr. 
Robert Wilson, said : " I want to tell you what a joy it 
is to come out here and follow in the track of George 
Grubb and the others of his party. . . . You may 
be glad of my independent testimony to the greatness of 
the work done. Whenever I find myself in parishes 
where Grubb and the others laboured, there I am sure 
to find many who are rejoicing in the Lord and proving 
His power to use them in His service. . . . Although 
the direct work has been mainly among English 
Colonists, yet indirectly a mighty missionary work has 
been done for the heathen world, for the candidates, now 
coming forward in numbers for missionary service, are 
many of them the fruit of Grubb s mission." 

II. The concluding words of this testimony lead us 
by a natural transition to the second of the two lines of 


The Keswick Mission Council 

work in which the Committee engaged, viz., the sending 
of Missionaries to the Heathen and Mohammedan world. 

The same meeting, held at the Church Room, Eaton 
Chapel, under the presidency of the beloved Incumbent, 
the Rev. C. A. Fox, at which Mr. Grubb and his party 
were commended to God for their Mission to India and 
Australia, saw also the commending to God of the first 
Keswick Missionary, Miss Louisa Townsend, who was 
going out at her own charges to take up missionary work 
at Shefa Amr, in Galilee. 

Miss Townsend was followed to the mission field in 
1893 by Miss Amy Wilson Carmichael, who sailed in 
March to join the Rev. Barclay F. Buxton s mission party 
at Matsuye, in Japan. She was the first missionary to go 
out at the charges of the Keswick Mission Committee. 
Miss Ruth Brook and Miss Mary Hodgson went out to 
China in the autumn under the China Inland Mission, 
and Miss Fugill went out in October of the same year to 
join Miss Carmichael, and Miss Mitchell to join Miss 
Townsend as a medical missionary. Mr. and Mrs. Cyril 
Green sailed in 1894 for South Africa to work in connec 
tion with the Cape General Mission, and Miss Barry 
began work in Dublin among Roman Catholics, and 
Miss Kathleen Barthorp went out under the C.E.Z.M.S. 
to the Punjab. The next year saw Miss Jacob join 
Miss Barthorp at Khutrain, near Amritsar, and in 1896 
Miss Aileen M. White was quartered at Alexandria, and 
Miss Eva Carmichael went out to Natal. 

Thus by the year 1896 thirteen missionaries were at 
work in the mission field in connection with the Keswick 
Mission Fund. 

III. Certain subsidiary branches of the work may be 
briefly mentioned, each of which has been of service in 
making known the same great truth. 

Conventions were held in 1891 and 1892 at certain 


The Keswick Convention 

centres on the Continent, such as Paris, San Remo, 
Mentone, and Rome by the Revs. E. H. Hopkins, E. W. 
Moore, and C. G. Moore. 

In 1892 the printing press was called in to aid the work. 
Copies of "The Story of Keswick" were sent to 1,773 
missionaries. In 1894 the committee began to send out 
monthly copies of the Life of Faith to some 650 mission 


The present writer will not readily forget the visit 
which he paid to Mr. Robert Wilson at Broughton 
Grange in March, 1896. The work had grown to large 
dimensions, but the worker was no longer the strong 
vigorous man of earlier days. In his infirm condition 
Mr. Wilson felt that he could no longer bear the burden 
practically alone. The work required constant attention 
and considerable correspondence, while the informal 
committee of speakers and friends could only be called 
together (except at Keswick in July) on those infrequent 
occasions in which Mr. Wilson found himself in the 

Therefore this true-hearted man bravely faced the 
facts. The work could no longer be done from distant 
Cumberland, nor by him who lived there. A Mission 
Council must be formally constituted with its Chairman, 
Treasurer, and Secretary, and with headquarters in 
London. Having thoroughly discussed the whole matter, 
we parted. The following month saw a large gathering 
of Convention speakers and friends of the mission move 
ment at the Church Room, Eaton Chapel. 

The Rev. Charles Fox took the chair. 

A letter from Mr. Robert Wilson was read by his son 
Mr. George Wilson, who attended the meeting as his 
father s representative. 

The Keswick Mission Council 

The present writer gave an account of his interview 
with Mr. Wilson, and proposed a resolution that a com 
mittee should be formally appointed to undertake the 
management of the Keswick Convention Missionary 
Furid. This was duly seconded and carried unani 
mously. A further series of resolutions, proposing 
that the Council should consist of (i) The trustees 
ex-officio ; (2) Twenty-one elected members, of whom six 
shall be appointed in the first instance by the trustees ; 
the latter to retire one-third annually, but to be eligible 
for re-election. 

At a subsequent meeting held in June the formal 
document constituting the Council, signed by the trustees, 
was presented, and the officers elected unanimously, 
The first Council was constituted as follows : Chairman, 
General Hatt-Noble;* Treasurer, Mr. Albert A. Head ;*t 
Secretary, Rev. John Harford-Battersby ;* J Council, 
Mr. Robert Wilson,* Mr. G. S. Wilson,* Revs. E. H. 
Hopkins,* Prebendary Webb-Peploe, Hubert Brooke, 
Elder Gumming, D.D., C. A. Fox, G. H. C. MacGregor, 
F. B. Meyer, E. W. Moore, C. G. Moore, J. Hudson 
Taylor, Capt. Tottenham, Mr. Eugene Stock, Mr. Walter 
Sloan, Dr. C. F. Harford-Battersby,** Mrs. Bannister, 
Miss Bradshaw, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. Hatt Noble, Miss 
Nugent, Mrs. Tottenham. 

The Council, thus constituted took up the work and 
built upon the foundations already so well and strongly 
laid. There was no change of policy. The work pro 
ceeded on the lines which had been prayerfully adopted 
in the early years. 


tBecame Chairman in 1903 on the death of General Noble. 

jNow BattersbyHarford. 

Became Secretary on the resignation of the Rev. T. Battersby 
**Now C. F. Harford. 

The Keswick Convention 

The Council has met once every quarter in London 
and once (or twice) at Keswick at the time of the Con 
vention. The sub-Committees have met in the interims 
as often as current business required.* 

The work which they have done in the last ten years 
may be summed up under the same three heads as before. 

I. Missions. 

At the first Council meeting held at Keswick an 
" Agreement " for speakers at home and missioners abroad 
was handed to the Council, on which they have acted 
ever since. It ran as follows: "It is understood and 
hereby declared that all speakers at the Keswick Conven 
tion and at all Conventions carried on in connection 
therewith, and all missioners sent forth at the instance of 
the Keswick Convention consider themselves pledged (so 
far as possible) not to teach during the course of such 
Convention or such mission any doctrines or opinions but 
those upon which there is general agreement among the 
promoters of such Conventions." This statement was 
rendered necessary by the fact that in certain cases 
doctrines not generally held had been taught by those 
who were in other respects accredited teachers of the 
Keswick platform, and misunderstanding and distress 
had thereby been caused to not a few. It lost us the 
services of one or two of our most valued missioners, but 
there was nothing else to be done. Only on such lines 
can men of different views, but one on fundamental 
questions, meet on a common platform. 

Under the auspices of the newly constituted Council, 
CANADA was visited in 1897 by the Revs. C. Inwood, 
John Sloan, and F. S. Webster, and in 1902 by the Revs. 
John Brash, W. D. Moffat, and F. S. Webster. 

* A revised list of the members of the Council is published each 
year in the " Life of Faith" Almanac. 


The Keswick Mission Council 

The REV. CHARLES INWOOD, in 1897, was led to 
resign his charge in Ireland and to give himself entirely 
to the work of Convention-missions. He remained for 
some time in Canada after his colleagues left and then 
crossed into the United States and undertook Conven 
tions in various parts. In the spring of the next year 
he was in Sweden and Germany, and the following 
autumn he and his wife went out to China and held Con 
ventions in various centres, including one at Chungking, 
in Si-chuan. The next cold weather found him in India, 
where he spent four months, and on his way home he 
did some work in Egypt and Palestine. 

The REV. F. B. MEYER, as a representative of Keswick, 
though not as a rule seeking any support from the Keswick 
Fund, visited America early in 1897, India (in connection 
with the Student Volunteer Movement) in 1899, and 
Jamaica in 1903. 

The Rev. F. Paynter went, at his own charges, to 
India in 1900, and almost every year has visited the 
Riviera or Clarens, Lausanne, with a party of friends to 
hold Conventions. 

The Rev. H. B. Macartney went to Jamaica with Mr. 
Meyer in 1903 and to South America with Mr. Inwood 
in 1904. 

Dr. C. F. Harford took short Conventions on the Niger 
in 1897. 

A remarkable series of four Conventions was held by 
the Rev. J. Stuart Holden and Mr. Walter B. Sloan at 
the four principal sanatoria in China. They were 
attended by about 1,000 missionaries and friends. 
Striking testimony was received by the Council to the 
extent and reality of the work of grace in all hearts. The 
gratitude of those present took the practical form of 
thank offerings amounting to 221 towards the good 
work. Last year (1906) saw a series of most inter- 


The Keswick Convention 

esting Conventions held in South Africa by a strong 

II. The following have been added to the list of 
missionaries since 1896 : 

Dr. A. C. Hall (1896 Egypt and Soudan. Died 1903). 

Dr. G. Whitfield Guinness (1896, China, mercifully 
delivered in Boxer rising, 1901). 

Miss Evelyn Luce (Honorary, 1897, India). 

Rev. T. and Mrs. Walker (C.M.S. Missionaries in 
Tinnevelly. Added to List, 1901). 

Miss Mary Styles (1903, India, C.E. Zenana 
Missionary Society). 

Rev. D. H. Dolman (London Society s Missionary to 
the Jews at Hamburg. Added 1905). 

Miss Victoria Froste (1905, S.A.G.M.). 

Mr. A. K. Macpherson, China (1906). 

Mr. John Logan, Egypt (1906). 

Miss Dorothy Hunnybun, China (1906). 

III. Under the head of subsidiary branches of work may 
be mentioned the Conventions held annually at Blanken- 
berg, Wandsbek, and elsewhere, at which speakers from 
Keswick have been warmly welcomed, the annual Con 
vention at Clarens, conducted entirely by Keswick friends, 
and the remarkable Convention-missions held by the 
Rev. T. Walker amongst the Syrian Christians in 
Travancore, as well as in Ceylon, Tinnevelly, and N. India. 
The Rev. Barclay F. Buxton did much to promote the 
movement in Japan. 

The Literature sub-Committee have sought to spread 
the good news still further by the regular distribution 
each week of some 400 to 500 copies of the Life of Faith. 

This somewhat dry summary of facts will, I trust, 
convey to the reader, who has imagination and can clothe 
the skeleton with flesh and blood, some idea of the large 
extent of the operations of the Mission Council. Invita- 

The Keswick Mission Council 

tions come in from all parts of the world. If only we 
had a sufficient number of speakers, who could be free 
to undertake the work, much more might be done. 
There has never been a scarcity of money support. As 
it has been needed it has been given. And we are 
persuaded that as long as we continue to work in the 
line of God s will, and under the guidance of the Holy 
Spirit, the money will continue to come in. 



In Other Lands 


(A) By the Rev. F. B. Meyer, B.A. 

(B) By the Rev. C. Inwood 

Now the Lord our souls has fed, 
With Himself, the Living Bread ; 
Fed us, sitting at His feet, 
With the finest of the wheat. 

We have endless treasure found ; 
We have all things and abound ; 
Rich abundance and to spare ; 
Shall we not the blessing share ? 

For, while we are feasting here, 
Starving millions, far and near, 
Call us with the bitter cry : 
Come and help us, or we die ! 

In this day of full increase, 
Shall we, can we, hold our peace ? 
Staying here we do not well ; 
Now then, let us go and tell 

Tell how He hath set us free, 
How He leads triumphantly ; 
How He satisfies our need ; 
How His rest is rest indeed. 

Speak, for we, Thy servants, hear ; 
Thou hast taught us not to fear ; 
And whate er Thy word shall be, 
We can do it, Lord, in Thee. 


In Other Lands* 

IT was my happy privilege to attend the now historical 
meetings at Oxford in 1874, at Broadlands, and at 
Brighton ; and my life has never lost, and I trust will 
never lose, the impulse it received from those memorable 
gatherings, in which the soul learnt to accept Christ as 
the absolute Master of the yielded will, to abide in Him 
as the Keeper and Sanctifier. You can never repeat 
the exquisite beauty of the morning, the dew on the 
grass, the fragrance of the flowers, the song of the bird, 
but the light of the dawn grows continually to the perfect 

The results of that great movement were much wider 
than most people realise. When Mrs. Booth was dying, 
she remarked that it had been one of the principal means 
of establishing the Salvation Army ; because of the com 
pleted consecration and full faith into which many rich 
and influential people were brought. On the continent 
the results were very wide-spreading. Indeed, a German 
theological professor is said to have affirmed that Sancti- 
fication by Faith had become largely accepted as a 
doctrine of their foremost theologians. Throughout the 
world the Oxford-Brighton meetings gave a great impulse 
to missionary interprise. This awakened interest made 
it as imperative as it was congenial to carry afield to 
other lands the blessed tidings of full salvation through 
the risen Lord. 


The Keswick Convention 

By Divine guiding I was led to be among the first, if 
not the first, to carry the message of Keswick to the 
United States. Mr. Moody, when still comparatively 
unknown in Great Britain, had held his earliest mission 
in 1872, at my church in York. We had come to know 
one another intimately how could it be otherwise when 
he, Mr. Sankey, and I had waited together in my little 
vestry for hours of intercessory prayer for his great 
campaign ? When, therefore, with the proceeds of the 
hymn-book and the help of friends, he began to erect that 
remarkable block of buildings at Northfield, and when 
the idea of the now famous Conferences came to his 
mind and heart, he bethought himself of me, and asked 
me to come over and help him ; and there, in that sweet 
new England village, I unfolded the blessed message of 
deliverance from the power of known sin. 

Before that time there had been a large amount of 
uneasiness among earnest Christians about any teaching 
that savoured of sinless perfection. I remember being 
cautioned, before my first visit to the States, not to use 
the word Holiness, if I desired to commend myself to the 
Christian Church, as the word stood for those who, whilst 
professing high doctrine, fell notoriously beneath it in 
their practice. Several rather terrible cases had occurred 
which gave urgency and point to that nervous dread of 
anything, which savoured of salvation from sin as dis 
tinguished from salvation from punishment. I cannot 
forget the antagonism on the one hand of the Perfec 
tionists of the old school and the welcome by believers on 
the other, as I showed that it was possible to be kept 
from known sin ; that, in the best and holiest, there must, 
by reason of their ignorance, be many things in which 
they came short of the glory of God, and therefore 
needed the daily cleansing of John xiii., yet, as they con 
tinued in abiding fellowship, they were delivered from 


In Other Lands 

the fear of known sin, and walked with Him in Holiness 
and Righteousness all the days of their life. 

In all this, Dr. Gordon, of Boston, one of the most 
child-like and massive men that I have ever known, was 
my faithful friend and ally. He had drunk deeply into 
the literature of our movement, and was a most able 
exponent of its secrets. We had long and profound 
talks on these themes, and it was delightful to have 
access to the treasures of his richly-furnished intellect. 
Thus the system of truth, for which Keswick stands, 
became introduced to an ever-widening circle of ministers 
and others, who not only received it for themselves, but 
became its exponents to their congregations. Year after 
year I have returned to visit the greater centres of 
population, on tours arranged by Mr. Moody, and, since 
his death, by his son. 

Two of the most memorable of these meetings occur to 
me as I write, the one of a great crowd of ministers 
gathered in a large auditorium one Monday morning, 
when the Spirit of God descended upon us, whilst I was 
speaking of the Power and Anointing of the Holy Ghost. 
The other was in a glade of an old Indian forest in the 
Far West, where 150 Presbyterian ministers, after 
satisfying themselves as to the orthodoxy of our main 
position, yielded themselves for God to work through 
them as He willed. But I must forbear, or I could fill 
these pages with accounts of wonderful scenes which I 
have witnessed, among other places, in Philadelphia, 
Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, and New York. The 
point in each case being that into a yielded life there 
comes not only the keeping power of the exalted Saviour, 
but the mighty energy of the Holy Spirit, who works in 
us and through us for the glory of Christ and the salvation 
of men. 


The Keswick Convention 

It was also my happy lot to be invited by my beloved 
friend, Fraulein von Welling, to be the first Englishman 
to visit the Blankenburg Convention, held in a lovely 
village among the pine-covered hills of Thuringia, 
Germany. Those who crowd the beautiful new hall on 
the slope of the hill can hardly imagine the simplicity of 
the early beginnings, when the meetings were held in the 
school-house, just beneath the level of the Terrace. The 
dear lady herself was my interpreter, and it was a perfect 
luxury to address the pious German folk through her 
lips ; indeed, with her beside me, translation rather added 
to the force of the message, for in the mouth of two wit 
nesses every word was established. These addresses 
were subsequently published and widely circulated, 
carrying far and wide the message of Full Salvation, and 
led afterwards to my holding a series of Conferences in 
German cities, culminating in some glorious meetings in 
Berlin, arranged by our friend Count Bernstorff, now 
with God. 

In many of these I have had the fellowship of my 
beloved friend, Pastor Stockmayer, who was one of the 
German Pastors at the early meetings in England. Few 
can speak more forcibly about that crucifixion with 
Christ, which is the very heart and essence of our teach 
ing ; and it seems to me that of all men living, he most 
perfectly exemplifies the strength and nobility of a life 
hidden with Christ in God. 

# # # 

One of the most memorable expeditions of my life was 
to Jamaica, at the invitation of the leaders of the 
Holiness Convention, held annually in that Island. 
Shall I ever forget those meetings ? My wife, grandson, 
and I were welcomed on arrival by the Archbishop to 
his palace. With such a greeting from such a man the 
way was opened to the Rev. H. B. Macartney and my- 


In Other Lands 

self through the whole island, and godly clergymen 
allowed us both to speak in their churches. Mr. 
Macartney was able to ascend the pulpits, but I spoke 
from the lecterns, and everything was done to assure us 
of the welcome of all branches of the one church. The 
outstanding feature of that Mission was the remarkable 
series of men s meetings, which I addressed in each 
place. Crowds came to them from all parts, and were 
profoundly impressed, because they were not merely 
reminded of the shame and selfishness of immorality, but 
were shown the true method of salvation from the love 
and power of sin through faith in Christ. There are no 
occasions when the teaching associated with Keswick is 
so opportune and welcome as those where large meetings 
of men are swept by a storm of remorse, and revived by 
the tidings that in the Risen Saviour there is not only 
forgiveness but power unto salvation. Let me not forget 
the Convention at Mandeville, i.e., in the Episcopal 
Church there one of the sweetest of my experience. 
They say that the fragrance lingers still. 

* * * 

Through the northern countries of Europe, Denmark, 
Russia, Norway, and Sweden, I have been also honoured 
to carry the same good tidings of great joy. In Copen 
hagen, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, and Christiania, and 
Helsingfors, to say nothing of smaller towns, I have seen 
marvellous effects accrue. For instance, one Sunday 
morning, as I was preaching in a crowded church, in a 
country district in Norway, I felt that my translator was 
making but a poor reproduction of the message, and 
threw my whole weight on the co-operation of the Holy 
Spirit, when suddenly there was poured out on the people 
such a spirit of uncontrollable emotion that I could not 
proceed, and had to conclude by a season of silent prayer, 
in which I quoted Scripture passages on the Forgiving 

The Keswick Convention 

Grace and Sanctifying Power of God. It was on one of 
these visits that I was honoured by an interview with her 
Majesty the Queen of Sweden, who is a devout student 
of the books which are current among the attendants at 
our Conventions. 

* & # 

At the invitation of the Student Volunteers I spent 
several months in India travelling from Bombay, through 
the Punjab, Benares, Cawnpore, Lucknow, and Calcutta 
to Burmah, thence through Madras and Tinnevelly to 
Ceylon. The leading feature in that journey \vas the 
welcome given to this teaching by the more educated 
native Christians. Apparently very few of them had 
heard, at that time at least, of the subjective aspects of 
Christianity, and they were amazed when they heard 
of the reckoning ourselves dead unto sin. They used to 
compare this with the teachings of Hinduism, which 
insist on, I think, seven different aspects of death to 
sin ; but the fatal lack of their system, as I repeatedly 
pointed out to them, was in the absence of power. 
They needed to recognise the Power of the Holy Spirit. 

* * * 

Thus I have tried this teaching under different skies, 
and to different types of men. I have never found the 
word of the Cross fail ; and in the eagerness with 
which it has been received, I have received fresh proof 
that in the subject-matter of this teaching we are using 
the wisdom and the power of God. 



FIFTEEN years ago I was returning from England. 
In the train God drew near and flung over my soul 
a spell which isolated me as completely as if there 
were no other person near. Waves of grace broke over 
me and thrilled me with holy joy. Then came a stillness 
in which a secret was whispered in my ear. It was that 
God meant me to proclaim full salvation to the ends of 
the earth. It was all so clear and calm and real that 
doubt was impossible. From a human point of view 
nothing was less likely. I had never been to Keswick, 
but I knew that He who called would open the door at 
the right time and in the right way. What was prophecy 
then is history now. 


Eight months later I was asked to visit Canada in com 
pany with the Revs. Hubert Brooke and G. H. C. 
Macgregor. We reached New York in April, and went to 
Northfield to see Mr. Moody, and at his request ad 
dressed the students at Northfield and Mount Hermon. 
Our first Convention was at Montreal, where much mis 
conception prevailed as to our status and teaching. The 
first report in the daily papers was headed " Keswick 
Brethren," and many thought this was a new sect or 
branch of the Plymouth Brethren. From the first we 
had large congregations, two of our most sympathetic 
auditors being Bishop Bond, late Metropolitan of Canada, 
and blind Dr. Douglas, the most distinguished preacher 
in the Dominion. Day by day the interest and power 
grew : hunger for this deeper life was discovered every 
where, and on the last day many received the Fulness of 


The Keswick Convention 

the Spirit. In Hamilton we had a hard fight. We were 
quite ignorant of local conditions, but He who knew sent 
a burning message to the opening meeting. It aroused 
fierce antagonism but we learned afterwards that God 
had used it to free the very men who most resented it at 
first. The Toronto Convention was held in the Y.M.C.A. 
Hall which seats 2,000 and was crowded each night. The 
illness of Mr. Brooke was a trial to Macgregor and my 
self, for we were leaning upon the experience and teaching 
gift of our colleague, but we cast ourselves upon God who 
met all our need. The vast congregations were swept by 
the Spirit into a new zone of life. From this we went to 
Chicago Bible Institute. Our work was chiefly amongst 
the students, and they were very responsive. Mr. 
Alexander Dr. Torrey s colleague was then a student 
there, and told me recently of the great help he received. 
I have met other students in foreign lands who spoke of 
the spiritual uplift received then. 


from God came four years later in the quiet of my study 
in Belfast. There were many difficulties, and my action 
was much misunderstood, but the call was clear and at all 
costs to be obeyed. Three years leave of absence was 
granted. I revisited Canada with Revs. John Sloan and 
F. S. Webster. Conventions were held in the chief 
centres and with much blessing : we reaped most where 
seed had been sown four years before. After my 
colleagues left I visited other centres in Canada, and then 
joined Dr. Pierson at Boston and Brooklyn. One 
incident may be recalled. A letter affecting my plans was 
overdue, so I went to Ottawa to await its arrival. There 
I met Moody who was holding a mission. He recognised 
me in the service and said : " What are you doing 
here ? " I told him, and he said " God has sent that letter 


In Other Lands 

astray." After his address he said he must leave next 
day, and that I would carry on the mission. Protest 
was useless, so I went forward, and the grace which 
rested upon us proved that this ordering was of God. 


I began to preach through interpretation in Stockholm. 
How strange that first attempt seemed, the short sentence, 
the pause, the strange voice and stranger words, the rapid 
mental action, the seeming folly of hoping to impart con 
nected teaching under such conditions. But life is a 
continual reversal of preconceived ideas and that method 
which seemed so useless has been attended by the 
mightiest displays of the Spirit s power I have known. 
Oh how the spirit brooded over those gatherings ! The 
hunger created was intense, the stillness at times was 
almost more than one could bear. Before me as I write 
are protraits of Prince and Princess Bernadotte with a 
text and a date which recall one night when they and many 
more claimed the promised gift. Nor were the meetings 
in Germany less fruitful. 


At the request of the Keswick Council I agreed to 
visit China in 1898. No other year was so full of 
needs and tests, and none other was so transfigured 
with grace. The word "China" wears an aureole of 
glory ever since. Crossing the Pacific my wife was 
seized with alarming illness, and one night appeared to be 
dying. A little before midnight I went up on deck for 
prayer. The night was dark and the sound of the waves 
lent an added loneliness to the situation. I told God that 
I did not believe He had brought us there to slay my 
loved one. The logic of Manoah s wife took hold of me, 
and became mine. " If the Lord were pleased to kill us 
He would not have accepted our burnt offering." Then 


The Keswick Convention 

came the assurance that she would not die, and from that 
hour she began to recover. 

My first work was in North China. During the service 
in the native Church in Tungchou the impression was borne 
in upon me that some of the Christians present would 
have to lay down their lives for the Lord and I told them 
so, and dwelt much on the power by which they could 
glorify God as martyrs. A solemn awe fell upon us. The 
scene passed from my memory till June, 1900. One 
morning my paper contained the news of the massacre of 
the Christians at Tungchou and like a flash of lightning 
that service came back to me with its message and its awe. 
In Pekin, meetings for native Christians were held each 
afternoon, and each night a quiet hour for the mission 
aries. The afternoon meetings began in the London 
Mission Church, but the large numbers compelled us to 
move to the Methodist Episcopal Church which seated 
1, 600 where a real work of grace was wrought in 
many hearts. A united Communion service was held on 
Saturday, and for the first time in Pekin 1,100 native 
Christians sat down at the Lord s table, and He whom 
they loved drew very near to all. None of us then knew 
that many of them would prove the reality of their love by 
laying down their lives for Him. 

Our second tour was to the extreme west of China, 
1, 600 miles up the Yangtse. En route we held meetings 
at Hankou where we met the veteran Griffith John, 
The native Christians showed intense interest and came 
long distances to the meetings. Each Church was 
crowded, and the spirit in which the Word was received 
touched us deeply. In a meeting of native pastors and 
workers the Spirit wrought mightily, and the prayers 
which followed trembled with broken-hearted confession 
and longing for holier service. The Ichang steamer leaves 
Hankou every ten days. When we applied for tickets 


In Other Lands 

we learned that Lord Charles Beresford had chartered 
the steamer for himself and suite. We were bound for 
the Conference in Chungking and could not reach in time 
by a later steamer, so we had special prayer. The steamer 
was to leave on Monday afternoon. That morning a note 
came to say that Lord Charles had changed his plan 
and would not go farther west and that the cabins were at 
our disposal. The steamer had been painted and 
decorated and beautifully polished for him, but, as my 
wife told the Captain, the Lord meant it for us. From 
Ichang we travelled in a Chinese junk in company with 
Mr. and Mrs. Hudson Taylor. The distance is only four 
hundred miles, but we were five weeks on the way. We 
passed through gorges, where the mountains rise sheer up 
from the river 1,000 feet, then through rapids where 
more than once our boat was in great peril. Upwards of 
seventy missionaries met in Chungking including Bishop 
Cassels. The UMantze rebellion was raging. Fleming, 
the first missionary to the Miao had just been murdered. 
Thirty missionaries were absent through the disturbed 
condition of the West. One who came was attacked on 
his way home and narrowly escaped death. We often 
heard the ominous cry : " Kill the foreigner." But in the 
conference there was no bitterness no fear nothing but 
faith, hope, and love, and a resolute purpose to do and 
dare that the heathen might know the Saviour. " Great 
grace rested on us." Then two months were given to 
South China. Here we found the same desire to know 
the truth. A native pastor in Swatow took copious notes 
of the addresses, and issued them in a booklet which was 
widely circulated. In Foochow we had a daily attend 
ance of 1,000 Chinese, including the teachers and students 
from a heathen college. These meetings were swept with 
the tides of the spirit. The native Christians ac 
companied us to the boat, and as we sailed, sang in 


The Keswick Convention 

Chinese, " God be with you till we meet again." The 
closing Mission was in Shanghai. The largest native 
Churches were crowded, and many were wondrously 
blessed. At the last English service the veteran, Dr. 
Muirhead arose, and with tears streaming down his face 
thanked God for what he had seen. He said he had 
wronged the native Christians in supposing they were not 
ready for these deeper truths. 


In November of the same year I sailed to India, My 
itinerary formed a triangle with Bombay and Calcutta as 
its base and Amritsar as its apex. In three months, 
Missions were held in thirteeen centres. The conditions 
of life in India differ widely from China. The climate, 
the centuries of oppression, the system of caste and the 
heathen religions have robbed the natives of that imperial 
strength of character which marks the Chinese. Then 
the missionary belongs to the governing race, and is 
looked upon as a representative of the ruling power. All 
this helps to make India the hardest mission field in the 
world. I did not find as keen hunger here. There were 
hungry souls in every place. There were hungry congre 
gations in some places and " there the Lord commanded 
the blessing." It was also a joy to help the over 
worked missionaries who are toiling under such onerous 
conditions. These conditions weigh heavily upon them 
and strengthen their claim upon our prayers. 


A few weeks were given to Egypt on my way home. I 
saw in Assiout a Missionary College with seven hundred 
students, and a native church capable of holding 1,500 
persons. I can hardly say which moved me most the 
eager students with all that their future might mean 


In Other" Lands 

much for the regeneration of Egypt and the Sudan, or the 
eager crowds of native Christians who gathered day by 
day to hear of their inheritance of Jesus Christ. 


The Rev. H. B. Macartney and I went in 1904 to what 
is rightly called the " Neglected Continent." Nominally 
Christian its degradation equals that of any heathen land. 
Much of our work lay amongst the English speaking 
churches, but in each place some meetings were held for 
the native Christians. Outside the missionaries few 
Europeans were eager for personal holiness. The pursuit 
of pleasure and gain is so keen that all higher things are 
persistently pushed aside. This was not true of the 
native Churches. Here we found real appreciation, and 
a devout receptiveness to the truth. 


My colleagues were Revs. Harrington Lees and E. L. 
Hamilton and J. S. Holden, whose health broke down, 
and compelled him to return home. We did not touch 
native work, nor much that was exclusively Dutch. Life 
in South Africa is very strenuous. Racial prejudice is 
strong, economic conditions are perplexing, the late war 
has left much human wreckage, and spiritual religion has 
to struggle for existence in many Churches. But the 
truth we preached found an entrance into many hearts, 
and to-day there are men and women following trans 
figured ideals as the result of the Spirit s work in our 
midst. From many we heard this testimony : " The 
thirst of years has been satisfied at last." 


The Keswick message both in spirit and form appeals to 
the devout in all churches and all lands. That message, 


The Keswick Convention 

uttered in love, and the sympathy which love creates, is 
the supreme need everywhere, and in every land the best 
hail it. Race, language, backward civilisations are no 
barriers to the Spirit. May God send a world-wide 



The Effect on the Individual 


By the Rev. Harrington C, Lees, M.A. 

My glorious Victor, Prince Divine, 
Clasp these surrendered hands in Thine ; 
At length my will is all Thine own, 
Glad vassal of a Saviour s throne. 

My Master, lead me to Thy door ; 
Pierce this now willing ear once more : 
Thy bonds are freedom ; let me stay 
With Thee, to toil, endure, obey. 

Yes, ear and hand, and thought and will, 
Use all in Thy dear slav ry still ! 
Self s weary liberties I cast 
Beneath Thy feet ; there keep them fast. 

Tread them still down ; and then I know, 
These hands shall with Thy gifts o erflow ; 
And pierced ears shall hear the tone 
Which tells me Thou and I are one. 

H. C. G. MOULE, D.D., 

Bishop of Durham. 

The Effect on the Individual Ministry 

IT is difficult for one who owes much to a movement 
to write dispassionately about it. But attachment 
is not necessarily a disqualification. Detachment 
has its gains, it has also its losses. The astronomer in 
writing of the nature and movement of the planets has 
the advantage of being an outside observer. He notes 
their orbits, perhaps their eccentricities ; he marks their 
waxing or waning brilliance. But much is lost to him 
through distance, and sometimes whole tracts are never 
seen by him at all. The travelled geographer, on the 
other hand, writes of our earth, not as an outsider, it is 
true, but with a vital acquaintance with its features. He 
has bathed in its rivers, revelled in its sunshine, refreshed 
himself with its fruits, gained inspiration from its vistas. 
And so, if he, who pens these lines, writes with the bias 
of filial relationship, yet he has thereby one qualification 
for a true description and appreciation of the movement 
which others have not, who, in some sense, have been out 
siders to what is conveniently termed the Keswick School. 
If, however, the keenest critics of" Keswick" have been 
found in the ranks of the ministry, it is also happily true 
that the most grateful testimonies to its helpfulness have 
come from the same quarter. " These people have found 
a way of linking Pentecost with the Sermon on the 

The Keswick Convention 

Mount." The witness comes from the north of the 
Tweed, and from the lips of a theologian, who differs con 
siderably in religious standpoint from the views associated 
with the Keswick platform. " Keswick stands for what 
is most spiritual in the religious life of to-day." The 
words are taken not from the " Life of Faith," but from 
one of the best known organs of the High Anglican 
Party a few years ago. Indeed the effects produced by 
the Convention movement upon the life of the Christian 
Church at large will scarcely be challenged by any thinker, 
who has seriously studied the religious currents of the 
past three decades. Perhaps two main positions may be 
instanced, one social, one theological. 

First, amid the clash of creeds and strife of sects 
it has been found possible, under the banner whose tran- 
quilising motto is " All one in Christ Jesus," for men to 
forget their religious differences in their spiritual union, 
and to demonstrate to the world that the " Unity of the 
Spirit" is a practical fact. It has been the unhappy fate 
of some religious movements, while aiming at a new bond 
of union, to throw down a fresh apple of discord, and to 
add one more to the already over-numerous sub-divisions 
in the army of the Great King. Keswick has founded 
no new denomination, nor has it weakened any of the 
old ones. It has to a singular extent been kept free of the 
fanaticism that makes for secessions from one church to 
another. It has sought to pour oil upon the hearth-stones 
of all the churches and cold water on none. Its aim has 
been to send back Church members, who have been 
brought into touch with new possibilities, to impart new 
vitality to their old circles. 

Secondly, Keswick has stood not only for the primary 
evangelical truth of justification by faith as its founda 
tion, but also for a resolute witness to the possibility of a 
life of holiness, entered and maintained by faith in a living 

The Effect on the Individual Ministry 

Christ, through the power of an indwelling Holy Spirit. 
And indeed, the Church and the ministry have need of 
such a satisfying witness. There is no heart hunger like 
that of the unsatisfied minister of Christ. If he be con 
scious of failure in the inner walk of his personal life, or 
awakened to a realisation of spiritual powerlessness in 
public ministry, he is still obliged by the exigencies of his 
clerical routine to go on, hungry or not. There are 
scores of such unwritten agonies known only to God ; the 
dull, dogged performance of duty by diligent men, con 
scious all the time that they have missed the true secret 
of the truths they preach, and often envying the humble 
souls, who, from time to time, receive blessing from their 
ministrations. It is the old story of the slaves in the 
book of Job " Being an-hungred they carry the sheaves ; 
they tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst " (Job xxiv. 
10, n, R.V.), pining for hunger with bread in their arms, 
and fainting for thirst with invigorating streams beneath 
their feet. 

We sometimes forget that upon the minister of Christ 
are concentrated some of the deadliest temptations in the 
arsenal of Satan. If, in our recent war, the wily foe 
picked off the officers in order to demoralise the ranks, 
can we doubt that the subtle tempter will see that the 
leaders in the spiritual war are exposed to a deadly fire ? 

The temptation to put ambition in place of zeal for 
God, or even to admit self-advancement as a parallel 
motive with the expansion of Christ s Kingdom the 
temptation to attempt mere brilliance of rhetoric in place 
of a divine message prayerfully sought and plainly 
delivered, " Half an hour in which to raise the dead," 
as Ruskin says the temptation to secularize our high 
and holy calling by useless travesties of the methods of 
the music-hall, or more common still, to mentalise the 
spiritual, letting the concert outweigh the Bible-class, or 

177 N 

The Keswick Convention 

the lecture oust the prayer-meeting, in relative import 
ance to look merely at numerical triumphs in attend 
ance at meetings, forgetting that with God quality stands 
first, and quantity second to work for schedules and 
reports to the neglect of that quiet unreported dealing 
with souls which defies tabulation, on this side Heaven s 
gate at least to get full pews and send hearers away 
with their deepest needs unsatisfied, perhaps unawakened 
to live practically on the lines of the programme once 
shamelessly unfolded before a minister of Christ by a 
Church officer: " A clergyman s business is to please his 
people, and to make the place pay" to permit private, 
personal laxity in duty, and even moral rectitude, as a 
kind of self-fixed compensation for a life wholly spent in 
public religious work to let the harass of life s onward 
rush drown holy, yet familiar intercourse with the Lord 
as one busy religious leader said of the holy life his 
cause professed : " I cannot live it myself, I am too busy, 
but my family do " to wander after the latest will-o -the- 
wisps in theoretic theology, until the supernatural is 
almost entirely eliminated from the spiritual horizon 
the bare enumeration of these possibilities is enough to 
startle many a man, who in candid honesty before God, 
commences to cast up his spiritual accounts to see how 
he stands, recalling, as he must, how often the points 
indicated have been not only battle-grounds, but places 
of defeat. 

And here, one of the first aims of " Keswick " provides 
a real message for the seeker after soul-health, urging 
each one to be frank before God in admitting spiritual 
lack of condition. It cannot be denied that for many 
a fairly successful clergyman or minister, the first result 
of the Keswick message has been " a horror of great 
darkness," " not peace, but a sword." Yet who that has 
gone through such an experience would dare to have been 

The Effect on the Individual Ministry 

without it ? Admitting that the standard stated was 
high, was it more than Christ has always demanded ? If 
the shock of realising how far below it we had fallen was 
terrible, were we not bound to rise to the standard, rather 
than attempt to lower it to our experimental level? If 
we cried " Woe is me," were we not able also to say, 
" I saw the Lord." Better face the "eyes of His glory " 
now and let Him deal with the defects, than come 
ashamed before His presence in the great and inevitable 

Unquestionably, " Keswick " has been an untold help 
to many a minister in leading him to "get right with 
God." The very atmosphere helps. To be apart 
before God for several days, in which all else is laid aside 
save thinking and learning of the conditions of fellowship 
with the unseen Master, is a pathway of blessing to the 
over-driven worker. There is no parade of oratory, but 
deep in the heart of the speaker calls to deep in the heart 
of the hearer, and awakes a responsive echo. The Spirit 
of God broods in blessing here, where men come to 
surrender what parts them from their God, and separates 
them from their neighbour ; and similar spiritual results 
are seen, wherever like conditions are reproduced. Bible 
ideals begin to appear as divine possibilities, Alps to be 
attempted, not stars to be admired. God s promises are 
seen to be cheques which have been cashed by others 
before, and can be cashed by us to-day. And this again 
is a distinctive truth which has helped many, the possi 
bility of a present entrance into a life of blessing. The 
student becomes aware of the spiritual significance of the 
aorist tense in the programme of holiness. He has 
perhaps been living rather aimlessly in the progressive 
present, hoping sometime and somehow to emerge into a 
new experience of quickened spirituality ; and possibly 
Seton Merriman s epigram has been applicable in his 


The Keswick Convention 

case : " The world can find no fault, but God can find 
no fruit." Now his attention is suddenly called to divine 
finger-posts, which claim a present decision and an 
instant choice. If "ye were justified" (i Cor. vi. n), is 
a phrase which conveys a restful assurance to the soul as 
marking a definite transition from guilt to acquittal ; 
then also " Ye were sanctified " indicates a no less 
definite step, to be taken now, if never before, and 
enjoyed henceforward. Such phrases as " Yield your 
selves," " yield your members," " present your bodies," 
" sanctify you wholly" (Rom. vi. 13, 19, xii. i ; i Thess. 
v. 23) are seen to be not only incentives to a process of 
sanctification, but if tenses mean anything, the words 
mark " a crisis with a view to a process," to borrow the 
Bishop of Durham s happy definition. It is absolutely 
imperative that spiritual dislocations should be adjusted 
before there can be grow r th and progress (cf. KaropnVet 
i Pet. v. 10) 

The doctrinal standpoint of " Keswick " lies outside the 
scope of this chapter, but a few lines of special helpfulness 
in its teaching are in place here. 

(i) The Keswick message promises victory in the life. Few 
things are so deadening to the inner life of a minister of 
Christ as the consciousness of periodic defeat. Repeated 
failure in the face of temptation is apt to bring about an 
almost sullen resignedness to what is falsely said to be in 
evitable. So " Keswick " insists upon the reliability of 
God s promises of conquest, and the possibilities of 
cleansing in heart and thought, of a keeping power by 
which Christ transforms the will and transfigures the life. 
Faith lays hold of the risen Saviour and triumphs in 
Him not vauntingly indeed, but in the spirit of St. Paul: 
" I know nothing against myself; yet am I not hereby 
justified; but He that judgeth me is the Lord" (i Cor. 
iv. 4) humbly conscious of a real freedom from former 


The Effect on the Individual Ministry 

bondage, yet also sure that God s holy eyes still find 
much to alter. 

(2) The Keswick message promises rest in the heart. Its 
" quietism " is not a gospel of quiescence. The harassed 
worker learns not to work less but to trust more ; he 
transfers his burden and learns that worry is among the 
forbidden things (Psa. xxxvii., Matt, vi., Phil, iv.) He 
casts his anxiety upon Christ once for all (i Pet. v. 7, 
note the aorist), and finds, as Dean Alford truly says, 
" None need arise if the transference has been properly 
made." Christ does not remove the stress of work, but 
He does relieve the strain of worry. 

(3) The Keswick message promises power for service. The 
filling of the Holy Spirit is shown to be a possibility for 
the weakest. He is the agent, we are His tools, with the 
added joy that we are conscious and willing instruments. 
His power is humbly claimed, His voice obeyed, His 
presence enjoyed. Again and again, in the sacred record 
of spiritual experience at Keswick have men of proved 
ability and worth in the Church of God, admitted the 
access of power which has come to their life and ministry 
through a personal experience of the filling of the Holy 

Now when the honest seeker after these blessings comes 
to recognise that the first conditions of enjoying them are 
a definite surrender of all known sin, or doubtful habit, 
denial of self in its many subtle forms, and an absolute 
pledge of obedience to the will of Christ, he often finds an 
amazing unwillingness to take the steps. He is aston 
ished, perhaps shocked, at the revelation of self, but it is 
there facing him. The thought of Christ as Sovereign is 
not new, but the actual application is startingly practical ; 
and while some resent, others shrink, from the logical 
consequences of the discovery. Said a clergyman to the 
present writer a few years ago : " I have come up to the 


The Keswick Convention 

brink again and again, and have shrunk back, saying, 
* the waters are too deep. Deep they are, thank God, 
bat waters to swim, not drown in, waters in which self is 
carried off its feet and supported by a power not its own 
while yet free to act as a willing agent. 

And for those who will bend to this Divine claim there 
is a real benediction. " The fellowship of the Holy 
Ghost " is a phrase which acquires new meaning in a life 
yielded in consecration and maintained by faith. " The 
Lord has been here to-night," I said to a brother minister 
at a Convention held in a Colonial capital not many 
months ago. " Yes," was the reply, " and He has been 
here before, but this time I think He has come to stay." 

It is not claimed that these are new doctrines still 
less that " Keswick" holds any monopoly in light. They 
are New Testament truths, and universal lights, and 
wherever acted upon have been harbingers of blessing. 

But God has been pleased in these gatherings to seal 
with His blessing the emphasising of truths too often 
forgotten. And from the hallowed atmosphere of the 
tent in that little lake-side town, men have gone forth, 
who were wearied, and are now at peace, who were 
defeated, and now triumph in the Lord, who were power 
less, and now see God s might manifested in their work. 
Their churches have gained a new minister, faulty still, 
fallible ever, but one who humbly substitutes for the old 
" I cannot," the triumphant "I can do all things in Him 

that strengtheneth me." 



Clergy and Ministers 
at Keswick 


By the Rev. Canon A. E. Barnes" 
Lawrence, M.A. 

Let me come closer to Thee, Jesus ; 

Oh, closer day by day ! 
Let me lean harder on Thee, Jesus, 

Yes, harder all the way. 

Let me show forth Thy beauty, Jesus, 

Like sunshine on the hills ; 
Oh, let my lips pour forth Thy sweetness 

In joyous, sparkling rills ! 

Yes, like a fountain, precious Jesus, 

Make me and let me be ; 
Keep me and use me daily, Jesus, 

For Thee, for only Thee. 

In all my heart and will, O Jesus, 

Be altogether King ! 
Make me a loyal subject, Jesus, 

To Thee in everything. 

Thirsting and hungering for Thee, Jesus, 

With blessed hunger here, 
Longing for home on Zion s mountain 

No thirst, no hunger there. 


Clergy and Ministers at Keswicfc 

IT was inevitable from the outset that a sober and 
thoughtful movement for the promotion of practical 
holiness should attract the special attention of 
ministers generally. The Convention at Keswick was, 
to start with, a clerical foundation ; it was the direct out 
come, as an earlier chapter has shown, of the deep 
spiritual impression made by the Oxford gathering of 
1874 upon the Vicar of St. John s, Keswick. The message 
from God that had illuminated his own soul and trans 
formed his ministry was one that he naturally felt con 
strained to pass on. No one could have anticipated the 
result of the first little conference in 1875, but for thirty- 
two years there has been an ever-increasing number of 
ordained men coming to Keswick. 

It is a matter for regret that the Keswick Convention 
has never succeeded in claiming from English Non 
conformity quite the same regard that it has certainly 
won from Evangelical Churchmen. This has certainly 
not been due to any fault of the Management. Some of 
the most valued speakers year by year have been Free 
Churchmen. The motto, "All one in Christ Jesus," 
which faces all who enter the Tents has been joyously 
observed both in the spirit and the letter, and the 
brotherly intercourse both of the platform and of the 
visitors has been an invariable feature of each Conven 
tion. From Scotland, and particularly from the Scotch 


The Keswick Convention 

ministers, the response to the Trustees invitation has 
been increasingly cordial. Theology, a duty in England, 
has always been a passion in Scotland. It was well 
nigh incredible to a well-equipped Presbyterian divine 
that he could learn anything of the Sacred Science south 
of the Tweed. But the early adhesion and support of 
the Rev. Dr. Elder Cumming, of Glasgow, a man of 
recognised authority in the Councils of the Established 
Church, and later, that of two Free Churchmen, the Rev. 
Geo. H. C. Macgregor, the widely-known young minister 
of the East Church, Aberdeen, and the Rev. Dr. John 
Smith, of Broughton Place Church, Edinburgh, a scholar 
of established reputation, removed prejudice ; and year 
by year the number of Scotch ministers crossing the 
Border has steadily increased. To these must be added 
representatives of the Reformed Churches on the 
Continent, of whom Pasteur Theodore Monod, of Paris, 
and Pasteur Stockmayer, of Switzerland, were probably 
the best known. From the United States came at 
different times Mr. Moody, whose evangelistic labours had 
stirred England and Scotland about the time of the founda 
tion of the Keswick Convention, Dr. Torrey, Dr. Pierson, 
and others. Indeed, it is nothing more than truth to say 
that from every part of the world where there is a 
Protestant Church or missionary work, ordained men have 
travelled to our shores for the express purpose of attend 
ing a Convention. What if curiosity has sometimes 
been the dominant motive ? The ministerial mind is 
nothing if it is not critical; a quick scent for heresy is 
surely part of a complete clerical equipment, and to " spy 
out the land " a primary duty of orthodoxy ? We are 
free to admit that from the Keswick platform have been 
heard at times statements not true to the sacred balance 
of Holy Scripture. The presentation of one glorious 
side of truth may easily lend itself to exaggeration, nay, to 


Clergy and Ministers at Keswick 

positive error. Principles must be judged by practice, 
and these have not always been counterparts. But this 
is true not only of Keswick. To condemn a great 
spiritual movement because of occasional lapses would be 
to condemn every Church and indeed every Christian. 
Much more wonderful, we venture to think, than such 
errors, which after all are " accidental," not essential, to 
Keswick, is the way in which the Convention has been 
guarded and kept through a whole generation on lines that 
are at once sober and Scriptural. At no time have its 
leaders laid special claim to inerrancy, and, as men 
desirous above all things to be taught of God, they have 
ever welcomed candid brotherly criticism, basing itself 
upon any legitimate interpretation of Scripture. 

But there is another class of visitor to Keswick ; men 
who go there far removed from any disposition to 
criticise, but with a great thirst at their hearts and eager 
to learn. " I spent a long time," said one of these to the 
present writer, " in preaching the simple Gospel to a 
large artisan congregation ; God blessed the message to 
the conversion of many, but I then found myself without 
any further message ; I had nothing to say to them, and 
I went to Keswick with honest heart that I might be 
taught what to say and how to say it." 

We are free to confess to some degree of envy of the 
clerical brother who greets us at the familiar crowded 
station platform at Keswick with the information that it 
is his first visit to a Convention. The recollection of our 
own first visit has not faded with the course of years, and 
it is pleasant to think of that blessed experience as 
repeating itself again in the new-comer. He has come 
probably from some noisy crowded parish, where heart 
and brain have been overtaxed, into one of the fairest spots 
on earth, whose quietness and beauty steal into his being 
almost as a spiritual, rather than physical, refreshment. 

The Keswick Convention 

It is a fact, pregnant with significance, that from the 
very dawn of history matter has ministered to the 
religious development of spirit. Long before the imma 
nence of God in nature was discussed it was realised. 
That an occasional Lucretius is unconscious of such an 
influence merely conduces to prove the rule. Who can 
forget standing, it may be on the evening of arrival, near 
the resting-place of Canon and Mrs. Harford-Battersby 
in St. John s Churchyard and gazing upon Derwent- 
water, its islands, its wooded borders climbing up into 
green hills, the whole fair scene bathed in the glory of 
the setting sun ? Or who, as the dew of the summer 
night fell and the stars began to move along the edges of 
the hills, has strolled forth into the silence alone but has 
heard the voice of the everlasting hills speaking peace to 
his soul ? Amongst the ministries of matter, its service 
to religion is pre-eminently the chiefest, and it is part of 
our Heavenly Father s goodness that the message of the 
Keswick platform is so supplemented and confirmed by 
the message of the place itself. 

Let us follow then in thought a cleric of devout 
mind who for the first time has come to Keswick, 
prepared to find fault, but for the moment is withholding 
his judgment. It is 7 a.m., and he finds himself within one 
of the great Tents at the first of the early Prayer- 
meetings. He will probably confess that the experience 
is totally new to him. At that early hour, and on 
perhaps a wet morning, he was not prepared to find at 
least two thousand worshippers gathered to seek God s 
blessing on the day. He cannot fail to be struck by the 
quiet tone, the subdued fervency, the heartfelt Amen that 
marks the close of the prayers, praise and thanksgivings 
that are led from the platform. Our friend is " convinced 
of all, he is judged of all, and thus are the secrets of his 
heart made manifest, and so he will worship God and report 


Clergy and Ministers at Keswkk 

that God is in you of a truth." On leaving he will notice 
streams of people coming from the other Tent, and he 
will learn with surprise that another Prayer-meeting as 
largely attended as his own has been held with special 
reference to the Mission field. If we are not greatly mis 
taken, it is these early Prayer-meetings through the week 
that break down prejudice and prepare the way for days 
of blessing. 

We cannot attempt to follow in detail the rest of an 
average Keswick day. The Bible Readings will probably 
strike our visitor most ; the flood of melody as the hymn 
is taken up by the great assembly is impressive enough, 
but more so the sudden hush and expectant quietness 
that falls upon the Tent as the speaker rises to expound 
some familiar Scripture. It is a new experience to our 
cleric to notice thousands of intelligent listeners, many ot 
them skilled teachers, following with open Bibles and 
notebooks a simple exposition enforced by homely 
pointed illustration. He will notice that there is nothing 
of "platform eloquence," it would be out of place; 
nothing of laboured argument, it would be destructive. 
The truth is that the speaker facing this vast expectant 
throng is chiefly conscious of his impotence; the careful 
preparation, the previous prayer, and even previous 
usefulness in the same place do not suffice the need. It 
is not the messenger who counts here, but the message ; 
the speaker knows it, and for that message he is simply cast 
back upon God. Now the visitor, if a cleric such 
as we have in view, soon gets in touch with the speaker, 
he enters as no ordinary layman can into the secrets of 
his soul ; he is en rapport, he is sympathetic. And 
that is a great gain, for sympathy sometimes passes 
into introspection : " Why cannot I preach like that 
at home ? Why do my best sermons awake so languid an 
interest ? Why are my people not keen like these ? " He 

The Keswick Convention 

entered the tent prepared to criticize the speaker, he 
leaves it criticizing himself. 

It is in some such way as this that many a minister of 
Christ at Keswick has become conscious of his own lack : 
" It was not the address, certainly not ; there was really 
nothing new in it, and I should have treated that last 
point quite differently myself; but there was something, 
an undefinable power, that seemed to probe the verv 
heart of us, and leave us naked under the eyes of God." 
Such a testimony is not unfrequent, and it carries its own 

One of the special features of the Conventions for 
years past have been the Ministers Meetings. These 
are informal gatherings in a small Hall; a hymn is 
followed by prayer, and then the speaker rises at once. 
The address is simple, pointed, homely ; it presses home 
the fact that to yield to any evil tendency of our nature, 
however deep-rooted, is sin, that sin means separation 
from God, that separation from God means ministerial 
failure. A minister speaking to his brethren gathered 
for the purpose is wont to lay bare his own soul, to tell 
his own spiritual experience. Perhaps on no occasion is 
the presence of the Spirit of God more manifest than in 
these unpretentious gatherings. The secrets of hearts 
are disclosed ; sins of temper, of ministerial unfaithful 
ness, of pulpit pride, of worldly ambition cloaked by the 
garb of devotion, are seen in the light of God s coun 
tenance. Men are broken down under the sense of 
personal sin and of ministerial failure. One wrote: "I 
have been searched through and through, and bared and 
exposed and scorched by God s searching Spirit.* Such 
a process is of course preliminary only. Keswick stands 
for a positive message, and that message is the reality of the 

*Life of Geot H. C. Macgregor. 


Clergy and Ministers at Keswick 

mystical union between Christ and the believing soul, and 
the cleansing, keeping, enabling power of the Spirit of 
God. With that we need not deal here ; we will merely 
record the simple fact that hundreds of ministerial lives 
have been transformed in influence and power through 
the reception of that message. 

The Ministers Communion Service, which is held in 
St. John s Church on the Thursday morning of the 
Convention at 7 a.m., was initiated by the late Rev. 
J. N. Hoare, when Vicar of St. John s, and has been 
continued by the kind invitation of his successors ; 
ministers of all denominations are invited, and thus the 
true unity of believers is demonstrated in a special 
manner, and much blessing has resulted from this solemn 

We cannot close this chapter without some reference 
to the brotherliness that characterises the too brief inter 
course of clergy and ministers during the Keswick week. 
High Churchmen and Low Churchmen, Churchmen and 
Nonconformists, find, if spiritual men, that the things on 
which they honestly differ are as nothing compared to 
that living Unity in Christ which there asserts its pre 
eminence. Spiritual affinities are felt to be stronger 
than denominational divergencies. The chief reason 
why we find it so difficult to define the Church is 
because we are all politicians ; in Keswick we have no 
difficulty about it because we are all Christians. If the 
day comes when Home Reunion is an established fact 
and Church and Dissent join hands in the work of the 
Gospel, we are convinced that it will be on no lower 
platform than that which, in the goodness of God, has 
been laid down at Keswick. May it please the Holy 
Spirit to hasten that day. 



Women at Keswick 


By Miss Nugent 

Jesus ! I am resting, resting 

In the joy of what Thou art, 
I am finding out the greatness 

Of Thy loving heart. 
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, 

And Thy beauty fills my soul, 
For, by Thy transforming power, 

Thou hast made me whole. 
CJio- Jesus ! I am resting, resting 

In the joy of what Thou art ; 
I am finding out the greatness 
Of Thy loving heart. 

Oh, how great Thy loving kindness, 

Vaster, broader than the sea ! 
Oh, how marvellous Thy goodness, 

Lavished all on me ! 
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, 

Know what wealth of grace is Thine, 
Know Thy certainty of promise, 

And have made it mine. 

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, 

I behold Thee as Thou art, 
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless 

Satisfies my heart ; 
Satisfies its deepest longings, 

Meets, supplies its every need, 
Compasseth me round with blessings : 

Thine is love indeed ! 

Ever lift Thy face upon me, 

As I work and wait for Thee ; 
Resting neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, 

Earth s dark shadows flee. 
Brightness of my Father s glory, 

Sunshine of my Father s Face, 
Keep me ever trusting, resting, 

Fill me with Thy grace. 


Women at Keswick 

IT is always a deeply interesting thing to trace great 
movements back to their source. The origin often 
seems so inadequate, and yet, when God is in it, 
the acorn is enough for an oak, and a soft swamp high 
in the hills, is enough for a mighty river. A stirring of 
need in one heart, which could not be stifled until it had 
found its satisfying in personal contact with God, led to 
the Reformation on the Continent, with its undying and 
illimitable issues. 

In the great movement called by the name of Keswick 
it was the satisfying of the need of one heart and its 
insight into the unclaimed promises of God, from which 
the whole Convention sprang, including the women s 
meetings, which were an integral part of the Convention 
from its first year. 

In that year, 1875, women s work for God s service 
had not the universal and recognised position it holds 
now. It was but a few then who had dared to accept 
the Risen Lord s earliest commission to Mary in the way 
of giving His message so openly as it is given to-day, 
even though grand personal work had sprung up through 
the previous twenty years. But when the first Conven 
tion took place, that most beloved and far-sighted servant 
of her Lord, Mrs. Harford-Battersby, arranged that ladies 
meetings should be held. Was this the result of a deep, 
unspoken longing on her part to realise to the full all 


The Keswick Convention 

that was meant by " the rest of faith " which the saintly 
founder had entered upon, with its result of desire that 
others should share it ? 

It may be so, for we may draw this much of a veil aside 
and mention that after one of the ladies meetings of that 
first year, the friend who led them had the joy of hearing 
that now she also understood, and had entered upon the 
Land of Promise, with its satisfying rest and victory. 

That first Convention was carried through in spite of 
the storm clouds which then existed round it. How 
little those who opposed the movement realised the deep 
sense of unworthiness and of self-despair which had been 
aroused in those who originated and led it, and that it 
was because of that sense awakened by a new and clearer 
vision of God, leading to the cry of " Woe is me," that 
they were enabled to abandon hope of themselves and 
cast themselves upon His promises yielding themselves 
to His power to work in them. 

At the first meeting of the Convention, in the unboarded 
tent, rustic and simple, Canon Harford-Battersby s earliest 
words made this clear. His opening address was on 
Hosea xiv., and in it he struck the keynote of the whole 
movement, as well as of that Convention, showing 
that God must bring us low before He could lift us up. 
"He taught us," one writes who was present, "what 
were God s thoughts about the declines and backslidings 
of His people Israel in the past, and of His own Church 
to-day, and how we needed deep humiliation of soul 
before Him and confession of our sin, in order to obtain 
fuller blessing." 

This was the keynote which pervaded the ladies meet 
ings, and Mrs. Battersby s thought in founding them was 
that in them the great hopes and high standards held up 
in the tent as possible, might be brought into the most 
close and practical application to home life, and how 


Women at Keswick 

the great purchase of Calvary, and its securing by the 
Resurrection, might be applied to the smallest details. 
Not only to see that He died for me, as my Substitute, 
but that I, who accept Him, died with Him there to the 
guilt and the power of sin, was what she desired, and thus 
that the " reckoning ourselves to have died indeed unto 
sin " bore upon home life, smoothing frictions, ennobling 
its duties, and lifting all its details into harmony with 
His risen and victorious life. 

These meetings were always meant to be an adjunct 
to the tent, a kind of " after-meeting " where the great 
principles could be applied to details. " After-meetings " 
were then familiar and largely blessed in connection with 
the many fruitful missions which were such a marked 
feature of God s work in those days. But they were new 
in connection with gatherings of God s people, and for the 
searchlight to be turned upon " my life as a Christian " 
was startling. "You accept the promises of deliverance, 
victory, indwelling are you claiming them?" "You 
believe in His delivering power are you applying it ? " 

The meetings were first held in the little schoolroom, 
and the number present was small, just about in propor 
tion to the few hundreds gathered in the tent. They 
were times of deep heart-searching, and they led to lives 
metamorphosed. One of the first fruits was a lady of 
Keswick, who yielded strong will and high intellect to 
her Master, and was used for the blessing of many others 
all the rest of her life. 

The first meetings were to have been under the leading 
of Mrs. Pearsall Smith, but when she was unable to 
come, Mrs. Michael Baxter was invited to take charge. 
She also was hindered coming after having accepted, 
and the opening meetings came to the care of Mrs. 
Compton, well known then in conducting missions with 
great blessing. It is of interest to record that the first 


The Keswick Convention 

address was on the four things which are little upon the 
earth and yet exceeding wise (Prov. xxx. 24-28). It was 
typical of the principle of these meetings, that out of 
exceeding weakness might spring satisfying, safety, unity, 
dignity, when that weakness was used as a claim on God. 
Another who took special part was Miss Harford-Battersby, 
sister of the founder, whose strong faith and courage 
were greatly instrumental in the Convention being held 
that year. 

Mrs. Battersby did not herself take part in the speaking, 
but always shared in prayer. Many others also did so, 
for this was another feature ever prominent, that they 
were shared meetings, to which each one might contri 
bute. The second year Mrs. Michael Baxter was able to 
take charge, and she did so, to the blessing of many, until 
1883. In 1884 we met for the first time without the 
beloved founder or Mrs. Battersby, but their work 
remained, for the life of God was in the movement. In 
this year the ladies meetings were still held, but were 
conducted daily by one or other speakers from the tent, 
One of these was Pasteur Theodore Monod, who took 
little part himself, but who drew from many present that 
the Holy Spirit had taught them to see what 
"Keswick" meant, in despair of self, and expectation 
from the Lord alone. 

In 1885 the Chairman who succeeded Canon Battersby 
Mr. H. F. Bowker committed the care of the meet 
ings to Mrs. Bannister and to the writer of this chapter, 
at the suggestion of Mrs. Battersby. This sacred 
charge was accepted in the spirit which underlay 
the whole teaching, that " Without Me, ye can 
do nothing," yet, " I can do all things in Christ which 
strengtheneth me," and in hearty adhesion to the early 
principle that the greatest gain in unity and blessing 
was that the meetings should closely follow the line 


Women at Keswick 

of the teaching set forth in the tent. They were the 
opportunity for applying in detail what was presented 
there of the Master s rights in us, and claims upon us, 
and of the power to keep that which we commit to Him. 
All realized that we gained in clearness and definiteness 
of result by beginning with confession, followed by 
surrender of self, and consecration, and the yielding to 
the possession of God the Holy Ghost. 

Year by year the gatherings increased in number, in 
proportion to the increase of the whole Convention, and 
far outgrew the Lecture Hall which had become a sacred 
place of meeting with God. How many a secret con 
troversy with Him had ended there, when long and strong 
resistance to His Will ceased at the foot of the Cross, 
and captives to sin s power became His 

" Captives, glorying in their Conqueror s praise ! " 

During those years, many others, besides Mrs. Baxter, 
when possible were associated either in prayer or speak 
ing. Many beloved names come to mind : Mrs. Hatt 
Noble, Mrs. Albert Head among those called Home ; and 
Miss Lilias Trotter, witnessing now among the heathen 
to the power of His Resurrection. In 1897, Mrs. Penn 
Lewis shared in prayer, and in 1898 gave her first address 

It was in 1899 that the Lecture Hall had to be left, with 
much regret, as the meetings in a larger place could not 
keep the character of a " family gathering " with its 
freedom for prayer and testimony audible to all, and there 
fore shared in by all. 

The record of the Ladies Meetings is a record of the 
Lord s abundant grace, and of marvel at His use of weak 
instruments. Few of those who attend can at all 
realize the sense of profound weakness and of utter in 
adequacy of supply with which they are entered upon 


The Keswick Convention 

by those in charge. May it be always so, so that 
nothing may hinder all being " of Him, and from Him." 
"A friend of mine in his journey has come .... and I 
have nothing to set before him " yes, indeed, nothing of 
mine, therefore all must be Thine, freshly given by 
new and direct contact with Thee ! 

May we call to very earnest prayer that it may be 
always true that each who attends shall meet face to face 
with their Lord, and that to the beloved Leader, Mrs. 
Evan Hopkins (given to these meetings from the Girls 
meetings), "His grace may be ever exceeding abundant 
with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." 

One marked feature cannot be left out in looking back 
over these years. 

When the Convention commenced, the Missionary 
impetus throughout the whole Church of God was very 
weak. Appeals on the claims of God on behalf of the 
heathen and Mohammedan world were not urged at 
Keswick at once, for the messengers were not ready. 
But the very root principle of missions was there from 
the beginning, namely, whole-hearted surrender to the 
Divine Lord as Master and willingness to be at His 
absolute disposal. The direct contact with the Risen 
Lord, which was "the blessing" to so many, brought 
into distinct hearing and swift response His Resurrec 
tion commission of " Go tell," showing that the 
missionary principle had lain in Keswick as the blossom 
is in the plant, only waiting for God s moment to touch 
it into life. Thus when a memorable missionary meeting 
of 1886 was held, bringing into focus many incidental 
allusions to the great Commission, and a still more 
memorable one of 1887 followed, it was as the breath of 
spring and the touch of rain upon the waiting blossoms. 
To this call, women were the first to respond, and 
an appeal for ten ladies for Palestine found a deep 


Women at Keswick 

welcome, and, before long, the ten were ready. Since 
then the " women which publish the tidings have 
become a great host" (Psa. Ixviii. n R.V.), and 
over the whole Church of God now greatly penetrated 
with the call of surrender which Keswick gave the 
glorious trust and the call to carry it out has been heard. 
Dr. Hudson Taylor gave as his reckoning that two-thirds 
of those of the China Inland Mission were " among the 
heathen " as the result of Keswick. It was the conviction 
of the Missionary call heard at Keswick, following on the 
inspiring ministry of the Rev. C. A. Fox, which led to 
"The Olives" being opened as a sphere of preparation 
for missionary work, from which some two hundred have 
gone forth to the " Regions beyond," to all of whom the 
teaching of Keswick has been a penetrating influence. 
It is the inevitable result of the foundation principle, 
" Except a corn of wheat fall to the ground and die, it 
abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." 
Dying to self, and risen in Christ, then the seed must 
fructify and be propagated. 

What has been the result of " Keswick " to women ? 

Two illustrations may close this brief retrospect. 

Look into one English home, and see there a fettered 
and suffering life : a young girl helpless to move herself 
and entirely dependent on others. What could " Keswick" 
do for her ? She herself answers in writing to a friend. 
" This Convention has made me able to say what I never 
could say before, W T e thank Thee for our creation. " 
And till the day she was called Home, many could thank 
Him for her creation ! If she could not " go," she would 
help others to go, and, with feeble hands, she wrote the 
account for others of the first tent missionary meeting as 
her last service. 

Look into another home, far away among the heathen, 
and see one the centre to-day of a large household who 


The Keswick Convention 

are being prepared as a crown for her Lord, and being 
trained to be witnesses among their own people in their 
turn. What was her inspiration to go forth, but what 
" Keswick " brought to her of the boundless love which 
sacrificed, rose, and ascended to give the Holy Spirit to 
indwell and empower to serve and to win those most out 
of reach. 

Thank God afresh for the teaching which sends to His 
feet in deep humiliation, and then in the abandonment 
of self and all trust in it, sends to His Throne to receive the 
indwelling which is the only power to live His love before 
others. In the words of one who is more than any 
other the woman poet of Keswick Jean Sophia Pigott 
whose brief life was only long enough to pour out her 
new-found joy : 

" Make my life a bright outshining 

Of Thy life, that all may see 
Thine own resurrection power 

Mightily put forth in me ; 
Ever let my heart become 
Yet more consciously Thy home." 

May the Master seek and find many another Mary in 
the tent and its vestibules, either for home or the far 
field ; and may He say of these weakest in themselves, " I 
have commanded My sanctified (consecrated) ones ; I have 
called My mighty ones, even them that rejoice in My 
highness," or as the still more emphatic R.V. margin 
"them that exult in My majesty ! " (Isa. xiii. 3.) 


Mrs. Bannister, my dear colleague of so many years in this service, 
is so entirely one with all I have sought to say, that she desires to be 
included in it rather than to add words of testimony of her own. 
They would but emphasize the ever-deepening sense of privilege in 
being allowed to share in it all for so many years. As my own 
recollections only go back to 1879, ^ ne facts of the previous years 
have been kindly supplied by those then present. S, M. N, 


Young Men at Keswick 


By the Rev. J. Stttart-Holden, M.A. 

Precious Saviour, Thou hast saved me ; 

Thine, and only Thine, I am : 
Oh, the cleansing blood hath reached me ! 

Glory, glory to the Lamb ! 
Cho. Glory, glory, hallelujah ! 

Glory, glory to the Lamb ! 
Oh, the cleansing blood has reached me ! 
Glory, glory to the Lamb ! 

Long my yearning heart was striving 

To obtain this precious rest ; 
But, when all my struggles ended, 

Simply trusting^ I was blest. 

Trusting, trusting every moment ; 

Feeling now the blood applied ; 
Lying in the cleansing fountain, 

Dwelling in my Saviour s side. 

Consecrated to Thy service, 

I will live and die to Thee ; 
I will witness to Thy glory 

Of salvation, full and free. 

Yes, Iwill stand up for Jesus ; 

He has sweetly saved my soul, 
Cleansed my soul from sin s corruption. 
Sanctified, and made me whole. 

Glory to the Lord who bought me, 

Glory for His saving power ; 
Glory to the Lord who keeps me, 

Glory, glory evermore ! 


Young Men at Keswick 

THE distinctive message of Keswick has from the 
earliest days been of forceful and fruitful appeal to 
young men. The assurance of complete and con 
tinual victory in Christ, the imperious claim of His love 
for the possession of the whole being, the unfolding of 
the vast potentialities of a so-yielded life, and the simple 
faith which converts these conceivable possibilities into 
indubitable realities, are notes which combine to form a 
Divine harmony which, as rung out at Keswick, has 
always exercised powerful fascination over young men. 
The opportunity which the Convention affords to them 
of facing life s outlook from the high plateau of Truth 
and in the clear atmosphere of fellowship with the Lord, 
has long been one of the distinctive features of the work, 
and its outcome is perhaps in the nature of the case easier 
to recognise than some of the results in other directions. 
For the influence which Keswick has had upon the lives 
of young men is rightly to be looked for in the ranks of 
Christian service, where are to be found in missionary fields, 
in the home ministry, and among the army of men labouring 
for the extension of the Kingdom both within and with 
out the churches, numbers who as young men, received at 
Keswick that spiritual impulse which carried them for 
ward into definite life-work in the Vineyard. Recog 
nising that youth has its peculiar difficulties, intellectual 
as well as moral and spiritual, and that the satisfactory 


The Keswick Convention 

dealing with these is part of the effectiveness of the 
movement, special provision has always been made at 
Keswick with this object. As a supplement to the general 
meetings of the Convention, special gatherings for young 
men only afford the opportunity of making clear what is 
the significance of the Convention message to young lives. 
Sometimes such gatherings take the form of " question 
and answer," the speaker (most often himself still a young 
man) taking up the points of difficulty which have pre 
viously been sent in by those desirous of their elucida 
tion. More often however, such meetings are largely 
given to prayer, and thus give the young men a chance 
of " praying through " into the experience of fulness of 
life which is being proclaimed day by day in the larger 
and more general meetings. No one who has ever been 
privileged to take part in such seasons can ever forget 
some of the experiences which those hours (often verging 
on midnight) have held. The joy of seeing young fellows 
broken down under a sense of the defilement and bond 
age of sin entering into that present assurance of Christ s 
deliverance which carries with it the certain promise of 
future liberation from old enslavement, is wonderful 
indeed, and is only equalled by the delight of hearing the 
testimonies of those who in previous years have found 
the liberty wherewith Christ sets free, and who return 
now to give Him praise for the proven reality of the 
blessing during the intervening days. Yes ! the young 
men s meetings at Keswick furnish a rich store of 
evidence to " the exceeding greatness of His power to 
usward who believe." 

From all parts of the world and from all ranks and 
grades of life there come to the Convention year by year 
a small army of young men, an army indeed whose 
numbers if aggregated for the last few years since the 
Convention has become such an established feature of 


Young Men at Keswick 

the religious life of our land would be " a great host 
like unto the host of God." Young business men enjoy 
ing their annual respite from ledgers and balance-sheets, 
sturdy sons of the soil from the fields and the farm, 
bright young Varsity men, forgetting alike the pleasures 
of laboratory and campus, and factory -workers from the 
great industrial mills of our manufacturing centres, all 
unite at Keswick in one holy purpose, and all find the 
Divine adaptability of the promises of the Gospel to the 
varied needs of their so-varied spheres of life. It is an 
inspiring experience to watch them gathering day by day, 
to hear them singing with full hearts, to join them in 
prayer, and sometimes to have the privilege of speaking 
the Word of Life to them the most attentive and 
appreciative audience that man ever addressed ! But to 
me the most moving sight of all is to see the dispersal of 
this band of young men at the close of the Convention. 
Vows have been solemnly taken, idols have been willingly 
renounced, friendships have been made for eternity, new 
tides of grace have set in to surrendered hearts, and now 
back they go to office, college, and factory with faces set 
" toward the sun-rising," and to " work out " what Christ 
hath wrought in them. Truly to these young men 
Keswick is like its own mountains, a place where streams 
have their source, and from whence they flow to fructify 
many a desert place. 

In writing of this special branch of the Convention it 
is opportune to point out one result of its Divine effluence 
in connection with the Student Volunteer Missionary 
Union and its allied organisations for work amongst the 
University men and women of our country. Some of the 
most prominent of the early leaders of that movement 
which has now attained to such large proportions and 
influence, who in a large degree shaped its policy and 
determined its character, were themselves influenced to 


The Keswick Convention 

the supreme choice at Keswick, and owed to the Conven 
tion the discovery of those resources in Christ which 
made their lives what they were, and are. In a recent 
address Mr. John R. Mott said : " One day there stood 
outside a tent at Keswick a young man who heard God 
speak through a human voice and was obedient. And as 
a result there came a great advance in the Student Move 
ment of the British Isles, one of the most spiritual and 
fruitful in the world." 

For several years in its infancy and early youth, what 
is now generally known as the Student Movement was to 
a large extent closely bound up with the Convention. 
Its annual gathering of students was usually held at 
Keswick either immediately before or immediately after 
the Convention itself, so that the young men who then 
came together to study the problems of Christian work 
in their Colleges and Universities were brought also into 
personal touch with the spiritual realities andenduements 
to which the Convention witnesses, and many of them 
received a fulness of blessing which has powerfully 
influenced the whole Student Christian organisation to 
this day. 

To the regret however of not a few, both amongst the 
students and amongst those also who are immediately 
concerned in the work of the Convention, the close out 
ward connection of the two organisations has not been 
maintained in more recent years. The removal of the 
Student Conference to other centres, and the clashing 
of dates, have combined to withdraw from the young 
men s meetings at Keswick the large number of Varsity 
men which in former years was a feature and a force, 
with a possible loss common to both. 

Keswick s influence, however, upon the present life of 
the Universities is happily maintained through other 
channels. For some few years small house-parties of 


Young Men at Keswick 

men from Oxford and Cambridge have been gathered 
together by interested friends who recognize the strategic 
importance of winning such for the fullest possible 
Christian life and service, and this work has now become 
one of the outstanding characteristics of the Convention. 
Living together in the happy comradeship of under 
graduate life and under the wise oversight of those who 
being themselves thoroughly in touch with young life 
are able as need arises to talk out perplexities with 
them and to help those who are seeking blessing, many 
men have been most brightly brought out into the life 
of full surrender to Christ and full enduement by Him. 
These returning to their Colleges to live out the life 
before the keen eyes of their fellows, have exercised 
and are now exercising influence for Christ which in 
some cases has been quite wonderful. 

This same plan of community houses is also proving 
itself of the utmost value amongst other classes of 
young men at the Convention. A large camp of some 
sixty or seventy, mostly factory-workers, clerks, and 
artizans, a party of young Irishmen, a houseful of 
Scotch theological students, another of intending 
missionary candidates, and yet another of young business 
men are amongst the many which are now establishing 
for themselves a new and strong place in the life of the 
Convention. As a rule some of of the speakers gladly 
embrace the opportunity always gladly accorded, of 
visiting these various houses in a social manner at the 
morning or evening meal, and of thus coming into a 
personal contact with the men which could hardly be 
gained otherwise. The value of such intercourse cannot 
be overstated, affording as it does opportunity for the 
removal of misconceptions, the interpretation of terms, 
the application of the Convention message to the 
difficulties of a young man s life, and for that quiet 

209 P 

The Keswick Convention 

fellowship in prayerful quest of the fulfilment of Divine 
promise which is such a help to weak and timid souls. 
Some of the most fruitful work of the Convention is 
done in this way, and will continue to be so done. 

That the present days are full of danger to young men 
is obvious to the most casual observer, and in the midst 
of all the siren-voices with which the air is vibrant, it is 
increasingly incumbent upon Keswick to have a message 
strong in the strength of God, and to sound it forth 
with a voice strong in its true echo of His voice. 

The young men of to-day are the leaders of to-morrow, 
and hence the importance of the special place given to 
work amongst them on the part of those who know 
that until a young man has learned to call Christ 
" Master," his life is but pre-determined failure and 




Keswick Hymns 


By the Rev, F. S, Webster, M.A, 

Like a river, glorious 

Is God s perfect peace, 
Over all victorious 

In its bright increase ; 
Perfect, yet it floweth 
Fuller every day 
Perfect, yet it groweth 
Deeper all the way. 
Cho- Stayed upon Jehovah, 

Hearts are fully blest ; 

Finding, as He promised, 

Perfect peace and rest. 

Hidden in the hollow 

Of His blessed hand, 
Never foe can follow, 

Never traitor stand ; 
Not a surge of worry, 

Not a shade of care, 
Not a blast of hurry, 

Touch the spirit there. 

Every joy or trial 

Falleth from above, 
Traced upon our dial 

By the Sun of Love. 
We may trust Him fully 

All for us to do ; 
They who trust Him wholly 

Find Him wholly true. 


Keswicfc Hymns 

BUT are there any distinctively Keswick Hymns ? 
The Church of Christ with all her divisions is one 
body in the offering of the sacrifice of praise. 
Bonar s hymn was sung at Pusey s funeral, and Newman s 
hymn was in constant use during the Welsh Revival. 
Surely those who meet at Keswick might be content with 
the hymns that delight the whole Church of Christ. And 
so they are, and such old hymns as " Our Blest 
Redeemer," " Come, Holy Spirit, come," " How sweet 
the name of Jesus sounds," are seldom sung more fervently 
than in the Keswick Tent. Indeed, the great majority 
of the hymns in the Convention hymn book, " Hymns of 
Consecration and Faith " (which, by-the-by, has under 
gone two revisions during the last few years), are such 
as are found in all modern hymn books. Yet if there 
is anything distinctive about the Keswick movement, if 
the multiplication of similar Conventions in almost all 
parts of the world which is certainly not the result of any 
formal propaganda, is due to any real blessings to any 
distinctive spirit or life this spirit will reveal itself in the 
special hymns of the movement. 

We all dislike party labels. The founders of the 
Keswick Convention (I was first present in 1880, when 
Canon Battersby presided and Mr. Robert Wilson was 
his chief helper) had no thought either of forming a 
party or of manufacturing a party " label." No party 


The Keswick Convention 

has been formed, and yet the label exists and is 
frequently applied, though without their consent, to 
certain speakers and writers. It is convenient, but it 
may easily become misleading. For a label which is 
supposed to be the proof of genuineness (as in the well- 
known advertisement, " insist on seeing the label") may 
be fraudulently used or it may continue to adhere to 
that which has long since deteriorated or lost its 
distinctive vitality. 

The Keswick meetings have been marked by a certain 
distinctive vitality. It has been understood from the 
first, and the rule still obtains, that those who take part 
in the meetings speak not as advocates but as witnesses. 
They are there because they have personally and 
individually experienced the power of the teaching they 
inculcate. If any speaker forgets this, if at any time 
he seems to rely upon natural gifts of eloquence, or 
debating power, or exegetical skill instead of the present 
illumination and anointing of the Holy Spirit, the tone 
of the meeting changes and its distinctive quality is lost. 
Not all the addresses given, not all the meetings held at 
the Keswick Convention are distinctively " Keswick." 
The distinctive vitality, the special note is more apparent 
in some than in others. 

What is this distinctive vitality ? What does the label 
"Keswick" denote when rightly used? What is the 
distinctive " Keswick " note ? 

We turn to the hymns for our answer. They are 
gloriously optimistic. Most familiar of all is that hymn 
of Miss Havergal s with its noble refrain : 

Stayed upon Jehovah, 
Hearts are fully blest, 
Finding as He promised, 
Perfect peace and rest. 

That one word " finding " gives the keynote of the 


Keswick HymnS 

Keswick spirit. While no well-taught disciple ever ceases 
to be a "seeker," the testimony at Keswick is clear and 
definite, we have found, we are finding, the promises 
are being graciously fulfilled, unworthy as we are, in our 
hearts and lives. 

So another equally familiar and favourite hymn. 

Jesus I am resting, resting 
In the joy of what Thou art, 
I am finding out the greatness 
Of Thy loving heart. 

There the word " finding " is equally prominent. These 
hymns abound in the "comfort of the Holy Ghost." 
They are the glad outpourings of satisfied hearts. In its 
orphan state the Church of Christ is always inclined to 
regard " the joy of the Lord " as an unwarranted luxury 
and deems it the highest proof of devotion to be content 
to seek and not find, but when " filled with the Spirit " 
and " walking in the comfort of the Holy Ghost " they 
are filled with "all joy and peace in believing," and the 
joy overflows in songs of triumph. " When the Lord 
turned again the captivity of Zion . . . then was 
our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with 

So it is a very real experience of blessing which lies 
behind these hymns. When we sing 

I have found, I have found the way 
Which leads to heavenly rest, 
I have found, I have found the peace 
Which filled my Saviour s breast 

something more is meant than the peace of forgiveness. 
The joy that rings through these hymns is the joy of a 
fresh discovery made, it may be, long after the period of 
the soul s conversion to God, of the fulness of the bless 
ing which is ours in Christ. Sometimes the unsatis- 


The Keswick Convention 

factory character of the experience preceding this 
discovery is plainly alluded to : 

Long, alas, in the gloom I fought, 
Midst stress of wind and waves, 
Jesus seemed only this to me, 
A Saviour who sometimes saves. 

Then follows the triumphant contrast : 

But sweet are the light and calm 
That fill my happy days, 
Since now I fully trust 
The Saviour who saves always. 

But the unsatisfactory experience is not that of utter 
strangers to the love of Christ, but of those who, though 
they have not lost the peace of forgiveness, find that 
the note of triumph and fulness of rest and satisfaction is 
lacking in their lives. 

Now this discovery of what Christ can really be to us 
in daily life is made in many ways. It comes along the 
line of a perpetual keeping. " Jesus saves me now, is 
the refrain of more than one peculiarly " Keswick " hymn. 
As when we sing : 

Satan may tempt but he never shall reign, 

That Christ will never allow- 
Doubts I have buried and this is my strain, 
Jesus saves me now. 

Or again, 

Before the battle lines are spread, 

Jesus saves me now. 

Before the boasting foe is dead, 

Jesus saves me now. 

I win the fight though not begun, 

I ll trust and shout, still marching on 

Jesus saves me now. 

This immediate and personal appropriation of the 
practical salvation which Jesus lives to effect in the lives 
of His own believing people was one of the earliest key- 


Keswick Hymns 

notes of the movement. The advance from seeking 
faith to resting faith in the matter of present deliverance 
and supply is the blessing which thousands of believers 
have learnt to associate with the Keswick Convention, 
the somewhat daring verse : 

Oh when shall my soul find her rest, 
My smugglings and wrestlings be o er, 

My heart by my Saviour possessed, 
Be fearing and sinning no more ? 

gives utterance to a feeling which is more or less clamorous 
in every honest heart. And the " Keswick " answer, while 
avoiding the error of present sinlessness, gives a clear 
and encouraging reply. 

Thou canst keep my feet from falling, 

Even my poor wayward feet, 
Thou who dost present me faultless 

In Thy righteousness complete. 
Jesus, Lord, in knowing Thee, 

Oh what strength and victory. 

It is the answer of the psalmist who cried, " Mine eyes 
are ever toward the Lord, for He shall pluck my feet 
out of the net." " The Lord is thy keeper." " He will 
not suffer thy foot to be moved." It is the glad assurance 

Moment by moment I m kept in His love, 
Moment by moment I ve life from above. 

But this clear vision of an ever-present, all-sufficient 
Saviour belongs only to a cleansed heart. So the dis 
covery is often made along the line of immediate and 
full cleansing. Thus the key-note is given in such lines 
as these : 

Oh the cleansing blood has reached me, 

Glory, glory to the Lamb, 

and with realism which seems almost repugnant and yet 
is not contrary either to Scripture or to the deep sense 


The Keswick Convention 

of need of a soul awakened to its own inherent unclean- 

Trusting, trusting every moment, 
Feeling now the blood applied, 
Lying in the cleansing fountain, 
Dwelling in my Saviour s side. 

These hymns are not in such constant use now as they 
were fifteen or twenty years ago ; but during a time of great 
revival in Holy Trinity, Richmond, about the year 1881, 
the refrain that was helpful above all others was one 
somewhat bald in its repetition, but intensely simple and 
real (the hymn was omitted at the last revision) : 

The cleansing stream I see, I see, 
I plunge and oh it cleanseth me. 
Oh praise the Lord it cleanseth me, 
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me. 

This aspect of truth is too precious to be surrendered. 
It has perhaps sometimes been exaggerated and mis 
understood, but it is of the essence of the blessed 
" secret of the Lord." Over against the secret of per 
sonal and conscious uncleanness, we must learn to put 
continually the secret of the blood which cleanseth from 
all sin. When Naarnan was cleansed from his leprosy 
God became so clear and manifest to him that there was 
no room left for the old gods of Syria. God will never 
be so real and clear to us as to fill our whole area of 
vision until we can say, 

Oh Saviour, I dare to believe, 
Thy blood for my cleansing I see, 

And asking in faith I receive 

Salvation, full, present and free. 

But the real agent in all abiding blessing is God the 
Holy Ghost. The distinguishing feature of the great 
Convention at Pentecost was this, " they were all filled 
with the Holy Ghost." " Fulness," therefore is one of 
the key-notes of Keswick. And while it is acknowledged 


Keswicfc Hymns 

everywhere that it is a great privilege to be "filled with the 
Spirit," it is lovingly and earnestly proclaimed at 
Keswick that it is a great sin not to be filled, with the 
Spirit. The classic hymn (ascribed to St. Ambrose and 
inserted in our English ordinal since the nth century) 
" Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire " is but seldom 
used, for it is almost too massive and certainly too 
archaic (how few know that soiled means assoiled or 
cleansed in the famous line " anoint and cheer our 
soiled face ") for general use, but the same yearning for 
the Spirit s blessed unction, " for comfort, life, and fire 
of love," is expressed in many stirring hymns in simpler 
language. Thus we are taught to sing : 

My all is on the altar, 
I m waiting for the Fire, 
and again 

Hungering for the sacred Fire, 
Seeking Thee with strong desire 
For a power to lift me higher, 
Lord, I come, 
and again 

Oh Spirit of Faith and Love, 

Work in our midst, we pray, 
And purify each waiting heart, 
Baptise us with power to-day. 

But this yearning for the fulness of the Spirit is not 
allowed to evaporate in mere emotion. The precious 
truth of the living ever-present all-sufficient Saviour 
remains the foundation of all. At the Wandsbek Con 
vention of 1906 the chorus : 

"Oh, Lord, send the power just now," 

was changed to " Make the Saviour plain just now " 
(verklare den Heiland jetz) ; the Diolch Iddo of the Welsh 
Revival was set to the words : 

Bend me lower 
Jesus only let me see. 

The Keswick Convention 

and recently in London the Glory Song chorus has been 
sung thus : 

Oh this is now Fulness for me, 

Oh this is now Fulness for me, 

Now that by grace I can see His dear face, 

This is the fulness, the fulness for me. 

The Keswick hymns bear witness, the witness seems to 
become clearer and stronger every year, for God is always 
giving His people new songs, that the blessing sought 
and found at Keswick, which has brought into the lives 
of so many of God s people a new depth, a new broken- 
ness of soul, and a more abiding experience of strength 
and victory and gladness is simply the living Christ 
revealed by the Holy Ghost, appropriated by faith, and 
reverently made use of in the daily life. 

But let no one think that Keswick tends towards a 
spurious and unpractical spirituality. The Missionary 
note pervades the whole teaching, and so does the 
blessed hope of our Lord s return. Fifty hymns, 
including some of the newest and most beautiful in the 
whole book, are found in the two sections dealing with 
the Second Advent and the Church s Missionary enter 
prise. Emphasis is rightly laid on the present glorious 
possibilities of faith in the life of each individual Christian, 
but it is not pretended that faith is better than sight or 
that the Church can ever enter upon the full fruition of 
holiness and universal dominion until the Lord come. 



The Literature of Keswick 


By the Rev.W. H. Griffith Thomas, D.D. 

Make me a captive, Lord, 

And then I shall be free ; 
Force me to render up my sword, 

And I shall conq ror be. 
I sink in life s alarms 

When by myself I stand ; 
Imprison me within Thine arms, 

And strong shall be my hand. 

My heart is weak and poor 

Until it master find : 
It has no spring of action sure 

It varies with the wind : 
It cannot freely move 

Till Thou hast wrought its chain ; 
Enslave it with Thy matchless love, 

And deathless it shall reign. 

My power is faint and low 

Till I have learned to serve : 
It wants the needed fire to glow, 

It wants the breeze to nerve ; 
It cannot drive the world 

Until itself be driven; 
Its flag can only be unfurled 

When Thou shalt breathe from heaven. 

My will is not my own 

Till Thou hast made it Thine ; 
If it would reach the monarch s throne 

It must its crown resign : 
It only stands unbent 

Amid the clashing strife, 
When on Thy bosom it has leant, 

And found in Thee its life. 


The Literature of Keswick 

IT is impossible for any modern movement to exercise a 
wide or lasting influence without expressing itself in 
literary form by means of books, magazines, and 
papers. These media of communication are essential to 
true progress. This has been illustrated by the Keswick 
movement, and the purpose of this chapter is to bring 
under review some of the ways in which the teaching 
associated with Keswick has been promulgated in written 

To do this we must go back earlier than the first 
Keswick Convention of 1875. The initial impulse of the 
Movement came directly and immediately from America, 
though the roots of the distinctive teaching can easily be 
traced in the writings of Walter Marshall, William Law, 
John Wesley, Fletcher of Madeley, Thomas a Kempis, 
Brother Lawrence, Madame Guyon, the letters of Samuel 
Rutherford, and the Memoir of McCheyne. It is hardly 
too much to say that in Marshall s great work, " The 
Gospel Mystery of Sanctification," which was published 
in the seventeenth century, the essential theology of the 
Keswick Movement is clearly seen ; but for the most part 
it was the practice rather than the doctrine of holiness 
that was set forth in the writings above-mentioned. The 
special teaching of what holiness means and how it is to 
be obtained, was reserved for these latter days in close 
association with the Movement which resulted in the 
Keswick Convention. 


The Keswick Convention 

The American friends introduced the subject in their 
own country about the year 1856 with various books, 
one of which was a remarkably suggestive, careful, and 
most able work now well known as, " The Principles of 
the Interior, or Hidden Life," by Professor T. C. Upham. 
From that date onwards a large amount of literature 
appeared on the subject in America in a series called the 
" Penuel Library," some volumes of which were re- 
published in this country. In the beginning of the 
seventies a striking little book appeared, " Frank ; the 
Record of a Happy Life," telling the story of a boy who 
died at the age of eighteen. It was written by his 
mother, Mrs. R. Pearsall Smith, with a prefatory note by 
Miss Catherine Marsh, still happily with us, who called 
attention to the striking teaching of the book on " the 
life of faith." The same author followed with " The 
Christian s Secret of a Happy Life," about which it may 
be confidently said that its teaching has never been 
superseded by anything which has appeared since. This 
book has had a remarkable influence in connection with 
the Holiness Movement. Shortly afterwards, in 1873, 
Mr. R. Pearsall Smith wrote certain letters to " The 
Christian " on the subject of Holiness, which resulted in a 
keen discussion in letters to the same paper. Then followed 
in rapid succession a series of meetings in London, in 
which the truths put forth in these letters were advocated. 
Much blessing was the outcome of these gatherings. 

In February, 1874, there appeared a monthly periodical, 
entitled " The Christian s Pathway of Power," which was 
described by its Editor in the first article as " A periodical 
devoted to the subject of personal Consecration and Power 
for Service." It then went on to state what the Editor 
conceived to be the practical possibilities of faith : 

"We believe the Word of God teaches that the normal Christian 
life is one of sustained victory over known sin. . . W T e believe 


The Literature of Keswick 

that the Cross of Christ which has effectually separated us from the 
penalty or consequence of our sins is also the means by which we 
become separated from their power ; and that the only true way of 
overcoming the evil within us is by recognising our position as those 
that have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts ; that the 
reckoning of ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin is the great duty 
of faith, and the secret of a life of abiding communion with God." 

The keynote thus struck is continued all through the 
number, which contains articles by several whose names 
have since become very familiar in connection with the 
Keswick Movement. Thus the first article was on " Why 
we fail to behold Christ s Glory," by the Rev. Evan H. 
Hopkins. Other names in that number are S. A. Black- 
wood (afterwards Sir Arthur Blackwood), the Rev. E. 
W. Moore, Miss Marsh, the Rev. W. E. Boardman, and 
"H. W. S." 

In July, 1874, a week was spent at Broadlands Park, 
Romsey, where a few friends attended chiefly as guests 
at the house. Among these was M. Theodore Monod, 
who during that week wrote the exquisite and now well- 
known hymn, " All of self and none of Thee." These 
meetings were followed in the month of September by the 
well-known Oxford Conference, which was practically the 
parent of the Keswick Movement, and in the first volume 
of " The Christian s Pathway of Power" there appears an 
account of this ever-memorable gathering. 

It is deeply interesting to scan the pages giving an 
account of this truly epoch-making meeting, and to 
observe the long list of honoured names connected with 
it, many of whom are now in the presence of their Lord 
above, while some " remain to this present." 

The second volume of "The Christian s Pathway of 
Power " strikes the same high keynote as the first by point 
ing out that the real question is, " Does the Scripture 
present to us any available means of deliverance from the 
bondage and act of conscious trespass against the law ? " 

225 g 

The Keswick Convention 

All through that year accounts are given of the influence 
of the Oxford Conference on many parts of Great Britain 
and the Continent of Europe. It is in this volume that 
reference is made to the great Brighton Convention which 
arose out of the meeting at Oxford ; and not the least 
interesting article is one by Mrs. Charles, the author of 
"The Chronicles of the Schonberg Cotta Family," on 
"Impressions" of the Brighton Gathering. We are 
tempted to dwell upon several articles by well-known 
names as they appear in these pages, but it must suffice 
to say that the indications of the progress of the special 
teaching are many, and betoken the widespread interest 
elicited on all sides. 

It is only in Volume III. that the first notice ot 
Keswick appears with notes of addresses delivered at the 
first Conference. These occupy but two pages of small 
print in the first number. In the third number, that for 
March, 1876, an article appears by the Founder of the 
Keswick Convention, Canon Harford-Battersby, on 
" Divine Guidance "; and thenceforward month by month 
the teaching associated with the Holiness Movement 
represented by the Oxford, Brighton, and Keswick 
meetings is taught in the pages of this magazine, indeed 
gives it its raison d etre. It is deeply interesting to see 
the gradual and successive appearance of names that are 
now well-known and honoured in the Movement. Dr. 
(now Bishop) Moule, Dr. Elder Gumming, the Rev. F. B. 
Meyer, and a host of others, contribute from time to time 
articles and Bible studies. 

In 1879 the title of the magazine was changed to " The 
Life of Faith" as more fully expressive of the central 
truth of the teaching, but its character remained un 
altered, and it continued to put forth articles and Bible 
Studies of deep interest to all who longed to "possess 
their possessions " in Christ. 


The Literature of Keswick 

Those who, like the present writer, have a complete, or 
practically complete, set of these annual volumes would 
not willingly part with them. They contain much material 
of permanent value, and undoubtedly exercised a great 
and powerful influence in bringing before the minds of 
Christian people the essential principles of the Movement. 
There is not a little teaching representing these earliest 
years which would well bear reprinting for the guidance 
and instruction of those who have come into the Movement 
during more recent days. It is only too possible to 
overlook the fact that the younger generation is not so 
conversant with the elementary principles of Holiness 
teaching as Christians were in the years immediately 
following the Conferences above referred to. All the 
more necessary therefore, to repeat the teaching of the 
" fundamentals " for the sake of those who desire from 
time to time to become acquainted with the essential 
position of the Movement. 

In 1892, owing to the great developments of the 
Keswick Convention, it was felt necessary to change the 
monthly magazine into a weekly paper with the same 
title. This made a great change in the nature of 
the periodical, which lost its distinctive character as 
solely a repository of teaching, and became, as well, a 
record of the progress of the Movement, and also a 
religious journal that should make its appeal to the 
Christian public with special reference to the teaching 
connected with Keswick. From 1892 the paper has been 
a great strength to the Movement, and though not 
technically its official organ, in the sense that it belongs to 
the Keswick Trustees or Council, it is in such close and 
constant touch with the Movement through its editor, 
proprietors, and publishers, that it is to all intents and 
purposes an official organ, and is practically recognised as 
such. Under its present wise and able editorial super- 


The Keswick Convention 

vision, it has done not a little to advance the interests of 
the Kingdom of God. It has necessarily gone beyond 
the strict limits of the Keswick teaching on Holiness, for 
the simple reason that Keswick itself stands for that one 
great truth only, while a weekly paper like The Life of 
Faith has to state and deal with the various implications 
and applications of Holiness as they bear upon the 
Christian life and service at home and abroad. 

Thus, besides the regular publication of sermons and 
addresses by weil-known Keswick speakers, and reports 
of the Keswick and other similar Conventions held in 
different parts of the country, The Life of Faith has 
materially helped the Movement by giving much 
prominence to the subject of Bible study by means 
of its Expositors , Greek, and Hebrew Classes. Then 
it has recently made prominent the subject of Biblical 
Criticism, fully realising that on our attitude to Scripture 
will depend not only our view of Holiness, but our 
view of the entire Gospel of the grace of God. It is 
a satisfaction to remember that the late Dr. John Smith s 
" Integrity of Scripture " appeared first in the columns 
of The Life of Faith ; and both in its serial issue and in 
book form the work has done and is doing efficient and 
eminent service for the cause of truth. The more 
recent papers by Professor Orr on " The Bible under 
Trial" have worthily maintained a feature of the 
paper, which cannot be over-estimated in relation to 
the young life now happily so prominent and welcome 
at Keswick. 

Nor has the paper been behind in its attitude to 
various forms of Christian service as seen in the Churches 
at home and the Mission Field abroad. It has 
endeavoured to look at current events in the light of the 
great principles for which Keswick stands, and it has also 
bidden God-speed to every enterprise put forth by 


The Literature of Keswick 

the Evangelical Churches of our land. All this has been 
done in strict accordance and in close connection with 
the distinctive doctrines of Christian Holiness promul 
gated at Keswick, and it is probably true to say that 
The Life of Faith was never a greater power than it is 
to-day as a centre of light and leading for all who are in 
the slightest degree in sympathy with Christian holiness, 
evangelistic enterprise, and pastoral work at home and 

From magazine and weekly paper we turn to the 
pamphlets and books published by those who have been 
exponents of the Keswick Movement. While the output 
has not been large, there have been several noteworthy 
contributions to what may be called the theology of 
Christian holiness. It is well-known that the Keswick 
Convention sprang from the visit of Canon Harford- 
Battersby, then Vicar of Keswick, to the Oxford Confer 
ence. In September, 1874, a paper by him was read at a 
Conference of Evangelical clergy and laity at Kendal, 
in which he gave a deeply interesting account of the 
Conference at Oxford, and bore personal testimony to the 
blessing he had received. The address was afterwards 
circulated in pamphlet form, and contributed not a little 
to make the teaching known. The new movement had 
to run the gauntlet of a great deal of severe criticism, and 
in particular the Evangelical Churchmen associated with 
the Movement were suspect in those early days as the 
pages of The Christian Observer and the Record clearly 
showed. It was incumbent therefore on the leaders of 
the Movement that their Evangelical position should be 
very plainly stated, and in 1878 a series of twelve 
pamphlets was published. The first was by the late Mr. 
H. F. Bowker, afterwards Chairman of the Convention, 
and was entitled " Sanctification : a Statement and a 
Defence," Canon Harford-Battersby contributed one to 


The Keswick Convention 

this series on " Bondage or Liberty " which consisted of 
a sketch of St. Paul s teaching in Romans vi.-viii. It is 
one of the clearest presentations we have ever seen of the 
much debated subject of Romans vii. Other pamphlets 
in this series were by Mr. S. A. Blackwood, the Rev. W. 
H. M. Hay Aitken, the Rev. Evan Hopkins, the Rev. 
E. W. Moore, and Pastor Theodore Monod. The series 
constitute a really valuable contribution to the teaching on 
Christian holiness, and we are not surprised to find that 
they exercised great influence in bringing before Evangeli 
cal Christians of all the Churches the real meaning of the 
new Holiness Movement. The book which in those early 
days was most definitely explanatory and vindicative of 
Keswick is " The Law of Liberty in the Spiritual Life," 
by the Rev. E. H. Hopkins. It is scarcely too much to 
say that this volume did more than anything else to 
explain the Movement to those of the Evangelical 
School, in the Church of England, who were at first 
inclined to look askance at it. In a series of chapters 
marked by all the author s characteristic clearness of 
statement, accuracy of presentation, acuteness of analysis, 
and aptness of illustration, the main elements of the 
Keswick doctrine are presented, and there is little doubt 
that the book did much in the first years of the Move 
ment to define the situation and to inform the Christian 
public what holiness by faith meant. 

The definite adherence to the Keswick platform of Dr. 
(now Bishop) Moule, then Principal of Ridley Hall, 
Cambridge, was a great accession of strength, for it 
brought into the Movement one who had long been known 
and honoured as a trusted Evangelical scholar and 
theologian. Dr. Moule s books, though necessarily 
appealing to a far wider sphere than that represented by 
Keswick, have done effective service to the specific Move 
ment associated with Keswick. His devotional works ? 


The Literature of Keswick 

such as " Thoughts on Christian Sanctity," and 
" Thoughts on Union with Christ," have had a large 
circulation, and have helped forward the cause of Christian 
holiness in many quarters. One. of the most prominent 
and best-known of High Churchmen in Oxford some 
years ago said that " Thoughts on Christian Sanctity " 
was a book always to have at hand on one s table. Dr. 
Moule s " Veni Creator," too, has been specially welcome 
as a presentation of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit from 
the standpoint of an Evangelical theology suffused with 
the glow of a warm personal experience. Nor must we 
omit a mention of the largest, and, in some respects, the 
most valuable of the many works put forth by Dr. Moule, 
his volume in the " Expositor s Bible" on "The Epistle 
to the Romans." In this will be found, a statement of 
the doctrine of Sanctification as seen in Romans vi.-viii., 
which contains the essential principles of holiness associ 
ated with Keswick, put forth with all the scholarship and 
spirituality characteristic of the author. As long as that 
book is studied the theology of holiness as set forth 
at Keswick cannot fail to receive due attention. 

Early in the Eighties a work appeared entitled "Abide 
in Christ " which was written by a then unknown author, 
the Rev. Andrew Murray. It quickly came into general 
notice and was seen to be in exact accord with the teach 
ing of Keswick, though at that time the author was not 
identified with the Movement. Indeed he could not well 
be so, seeing that he lived in South Africa, and that the 
book represented his ordinary ministry there. The 
teaching of " Abide in Christ " was thus an independent 
and striking testimony to the essential scripturalness of 
the Keswick position. The book was followed by others 
of the same character, such as "Holy in Christ," " The 
Spirit of Christ," and " With Christ in the School of 
Prayer," in all of which the essential principles of the 


The Keswick Convention 

Keswick Movement are emphasised. In 1896, Mr. (now 
Dr.) Andrew Murray visited this country and took part 
in the Keswick Convention. His addresses made that a 
very memorable occasion, and they have since been 
published in his book entitled " Absolute Surrender." 
Dr. Andrew Murray s work on the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
"The Holiest of All," is another volume of first-rate 
importance for Christian Holiness, and we doubt not 
that his long expected book on Romans will be a further 
addition of no small value to the teaching associated 
with Keswick. 

One of the earliest and most valued of the Keswick 
speakers was the Rev. Hubert Brooke, then Incumbent 
of St. Bride s, Liverpool, whose Bible Readings have so 
often given a character to the whole of one Keswick 
Convention. The term " Bible Reading " has become 
quite definitely associated with Mr. Brooke s part in the 
Kesw r ick Convention, and has introduced to the Christian 
public an aspect and method of Christian teaching which 
has been as welcome as it has been important. Those who 
have heard Mr. Brooke know well the essential difference 
between a Bible Reading and an address, a difference 
which has not always been recognised by those who have 
undertaken the work of Bible Readings. Mr. Brooke s 
earliest Readings appeared in two volumes, " The Vision 
of the Candlestick," and " The Temple of His Body," and 
all who wish to study the scriptural basis and warrant for 
the holiness teaching given at Keswick should consult 
these volumes. They represent some of Mr. Brooke s 
finest work, and as materials for study and models for 
teachers they can hardly be surpassed. Mr. Brooke s 
literary output has not been large, but his contributions 
have been uniformly valuable and very characteristic of 
the Keswick position. 

In the realm of Bible Study proper the Keswick 


The Literature of Keswick 

Movement owes not a little to Dr. Elder Cumming s 
work, " Through the Eternal Spirit," which gives a full 
and valuable conspectus of the teaching of Scripture con 
cerning the Holy Spirit. While necessarily brief and 
summarised by reason of the wide field it covers, the book 
provides a useful opportunity for studying the theology ot 
holiness, and for viewing in one great whole the Biblical 
foundations of the Keswick Movement. The companion 
volume, " After the Spirit," is not so well known, but 
provides a valuable sequel to the larger work. 

Of more purely devotional, as distinct from theological, 
works which have emanated from writers associated with 
Keswick must be mentioned a series of volumes known as 
" The Keswick Library," which after doing service in 
their original form have been re-issued at a very low 
price. The best known of these is " A Holy Life," by the 
Rev. G. H. C. Macgregor, whose early death has left a 
gap on the Keswick platform which has never been filled 
up. Mr. Macgregor combined in a remarkable degree a 
knowledge and love of theology with the devotional and 
practical insight and experience of a true pastor, and this 
little book of his will remain a classic on this subject be 
cause of its simple, clear, warm, and careful presentation 
of the essential features of the holy life. The volume in 
the same series by the Rev. F. B. Meyer, " From Calvary 
to Pentecost," has always seemed to us one of the very 
best of his voluminous works, and one into which he has 
put some of his most characteristic teaching. This is 
the place to call attention to the great value of Mr. 
Meyer s contributions to the Keswick Movement. His 
position among the Nonconformist Churches has enabled 
him to represent English Nonconformity at Keswick as 
no one else has done, or perhaps could do, and though 
his literary work has naturally covered a far wider sphere 
than that of the Keswick Movement, his books uniformly 

The Keswick Convention 

strike the Keswick keynote with clearness and strength. 
His biographical series of Scripture characters is 
particularly valuable in showing how holiness teaching 
applies to the thousand and one details of daily life. No 
one can read Mr. Meyer s volumes on Abraham, Jacob, 
and Elijah without being brought face to face with that 
Keswick teaching which we believe to be nothing less 
than the New Testament teaching on holiness. The 
other volumes of this series, thirteen in all, necessarily 
vary in value, but in one way or another they all 
represent the more devotional and practical sides of the 
Keswick message. 

One small book of great value, which has had a great 
circulation and has exercised a wide and strong influence, 
is "The Spirit-filled Life," by the Australian Evangelist, 
Rev. John McNeil. Circumstances never permitted his 
appearing on the Keswick platform, but the book sounds 
the Keswick note with strength and clearness, and its 
author did valiant service for Christain holiness in 
Australia during his strenuous but all too short life. 
The experimental and practical applications of the 
doctrine of the Holy Spirit, find fresh and forceful 
expression in this little book. It remains to-day one of 
the best of small manuals on a great subject. 

There remains to be considered in connection with the 
literature of Keswick the works of the late Rev. C. A. 
Fox, whose death, like that of the late Mr. Macgregor, 
created a void which it is impossible to fill. Poet, pastor, 
theologian, saint, Mr. Fox had a wonderful combination 
of qualities, and perhaps no one in the early days of the 
movement was a greater power than he. His literary 
output was only slight, but what there is is very precious. 
We single out for special mention the truly remarkable 
series of New Year s Booklets, which were beyond 
question among the most potent influences on behalf of 


The Literature of Keswick 

Keswick during the years of their publication. To some 
of us the reading of " Ankle Deep, or The River of 
Pentecostal Power," marked a crisis in spiritual experi 
ence, and there are other booklets scarcely less noteworthy 
and influential. Mr. Fox also contributed indirectly, but 
very definitely, to the Keswick Movement by the publica 
tion of his valuable little book, " The Spiritual Grasp of 
the Epistles," in which he attempted to outline the 
Epistles of St. Paul for his congregation, by taking one 
Epistle each Sunday, a truly gigantic task. As a 
specimen of Biblical exegesis, at once scholarly and 
spiritual, this little book is truly valuable, and we make 
bold to say that its treatment of Romans is a much more 
helpful guide to the study of this great and difficult 
Epistle than can be found in many of the large 

Mr. Fox s works, few though they are, will abide 
among the choicest memorials of the early days of 
Keswick, and his influence is further perpetuated by 
the publication of " Memorials of Charles A. Fox," 
which was edited by his friend and disciple, Miss S. M. 
Nugent. In this connection it ought to be said that 
Miss Nugent s annual booklets have been only second in 
value and influence to those of Mr. Fox. Very many 
have been led to look forward to her yearly contributions 
with prayerful interest and expectation, and they have not 
been disappointed with the messages provided. Miss 
Nugent s little books are in their way quite representative 
of the teaching of the Keswick Movement. 

It is time, however, to think of the present and future 
in regard to Keswick literature. The main literary 
influence will doubtless continue to be exercised through 
The Life of Faith, and under its present management 
we may be sure it will continue to serve the Movement 
in every possible way. There are, however, three great 


The Keswick Convention 

and pressing needs which may be commended to the 
attention of those whom they concern. 

It is, first of all, essential that the Keswick Movement 
should be constantly reinforced by means of a thoroughly 
intellectual and spiritual knowledge of the Bible. 
Holiness must be fed by knowledge if it is to be 
preserved strong and true. For this purpose Bible study 
is essential, and for study we must have manuals. The 
series known as " Our Bible Hour," published from the 
office of The Life of Faith, and issued in close connection 
with Keswick, shows what is needed, and what can be 
done in this connection, while the Devotional Com 
mentary now being published by the Religious Tract 
Society affords another way of studying the Bible which 
will minister to spiritual intelligence, vigour, and zeal. 
The more the Bible is studied in all its parts and aspects, 
the more clearly will the essential truths associated with 
the Keswick Movement stand out as the very spring of 
Christian life, Christian holiness, and Christian service. 

Another great need of the Movement is more theological 
works. Each generation has its own way of viewing 
truth, and the books of even a decade ago necessarily 
cease to be the power they once were. They need sup 
plementing, and often supplanting, by reason of the 
fresh sources of theological knowledge based on spiritual 
experience. In view therefore of the various theological 
systems in vogue at the present day, it is incumbent on 
the leaders of the Keswick Movement to find men who 
will provide the necessary theological expression of the 
cardinal tenets of the teaching. 

Not least of all the Keswick Movement needs a careful 
and competent supply of literature dealing with the 
practical applications of Christian holiness to the life of 
to-day. There are the great missionary problems which 
are taxing the thought and energies of all our Societies ; 


The Literature of Keswick 

and as the revival of missionary zeal owes much 
to the Keswick Convention it is natural to expect that we 
shall be shown from Keswick how the great fundamental 
principles of New Testament evangelization can be 
brought to bear upon the work waiting to be done in 
Africa, China, India, Japan, and elsewhere. Then there 
are the great social problems of our own country, in which 
the young men and women who are now flocking to 
Keswick are becoming more and more keenly interested. 
The drink question, the gambling evil, the proper use of 
wealth, and many another social and economic problem 
press for attention ; and as the whole of human life is to 
be " Holiness to the Lord " it must necessarily follow that 
the exponents of Christian holiness should bring their 
great principles to bear on all the national and social ills 
of our day. 

If it be said that all this is outside the province of 
Keswick, and that the Movement represented by the 
Convention stands only for one segment of truth, and 
cannot be expected to deal with the whole area of 
thought and life, we would reply that Keswick stands for 
the centre, the core, the heart of Christian holiness, and 
this being the case it must necessarily show how that 
central point is intended to influence every part of the 
circle of life until the entire circumference is reached. To 
the holiness represented by Keswick no truth is alien, for 
there is no interest outside its sphere. 



A Last Word 


By the Editor 

Praise Him ! praise Him ! Jesus our blessed Redeemer ; 

Sing, O earth ! His wonderful love proclaim ! 

Hail him ! hail Him 1 highest archangels in glory ; 

Strength and honour give to His holy name. 

Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children, 

In His arms He carries them all day long ; 

O ye saints that dwell in the mountains of Zion, 

Praise Him ! praise Him ! ever in joyful song. 

Praise Him ! praise Him ! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer ; 

For our sins He suffered and bled and died ; 

He, our rock, our hope of eternal salvation, 

Hail Him ! hail Him ! Jesus the Crucified : 

Loving Saviour, meekly enduring sorrow, 

Crowned with thorns that cruelly pierced His brow ; 

Once for us rejected, despised, and forsaken, 

Prince of Glory, ever triumphant now. 

Praise Him ! Praise Him ! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer, 

Heavenly Portals, loud with hosannahs ring ! 

Jesus, Saviour, reigneth for ever and ever ; 

Crown Him ! crown Him ! Prophet and Priest and King ! 

Death is vanquished ! Tell it with joy, ye faithful, 

Where is now thy victory, boasting grave ? 

Jesus lives ! No longer thy portals are cheerless ; 

Jesus lives, the mighty and strong to save. 


A Last Word 

WHAT is to be the future of the Keswick Conven 
tion? This is the question which will naturally 
suggest itself to the readers of the preceding 
chapters. The answer rests largely with those who 
have been graciously permitted by God to be associated 
with this Convention in the past, not only as leaders 
but as the rank and file who have received great 
blessings through the Convention, and who have 
therefore the responsibility of passing these on to 
others. We propose, however, to attempt to give an 
answer to this question, and in doing so to indicate some 
of the dangers which may arise and which need to be 
recognised in order that they may be avoided. Much 
has already been said concerning the remarkable unity 
which prevails at Keswick, and of the brotherly spirit 
which is manifested and the absence of party spirit, but 
it must be distinctly understood that this is rather the 
result of the practical teaching concerning holiness of 
life than the deliberate aim of the meetings. It is indeed 
the natural result of the working of the Divine Spirit, and 
it is only by His holy inspiration that this end has been 
achieved and not by any mere human devices to obtain 
reunion of the Churches. 

It is important to bear this in mind, for there is always 
the risk lest desires for unity should lead to the selection 
of speakers because they were representative of one or 

241 R 

The Keswick Convention 

another denomination, than because they are called of 
God to give the distinctive message of the Convention. It 
is happily true that most of the Christian Churches are 
well represented both on the platform and in the congre 
gation, but only because there are men and women in 
these bodies who have been called of God to the 

It has already been pointed out that the chief qualifica 
tion necessary for speakers at the Convention is that 
they have experienced the blessings of which they speak, 
and are evidently called of God to lead others into holi 
ness of life. Definiteness, as many have said, is one of 
the great distinctive features of the Convention, and any 
thing which might render the teaching colourless and 
indefinite would involve a serious loss to the Church of 
Christ. This is often misunderstood by those who have 
not been to Keswick. They think that the great leaders 
of religious thought in the country should be invited to 
Keswick to take part in the meetings, and at any rate 
that those who have a reputation as evangelists or 
evangelical leaders should ipso facto take their place as 
teachers at the Convention. Because this is not done it 
is thought that the leaders of the Convention are 
exclusive, and it is even hinted that they set themselves 
up as superior to others, and that they have the spirit of 
those who would say " I am holier than thou." If such 
views are held by any readers of this volume we only hope 
that they will come to the Convention, and see for them 
selves. Nothing can be further from the spirit of the 
platform, and any whom God has called to deliver the 
same message will want no other introduction to those 
who preside over the meetings. 

Many of those who knew the early Conventions, and 
who have been connected with the movement up to the 
present time, have felt that there is already rather less 


A Last Word 

definiteness in the delivery of the message than there was 
in the earlier days. May we not hope that the recital by 
so many witnesses in this book of the rise of the Conven 
tion may lead us afresh to consider the foundation prin 
ciples upon which the teaching is based, so that the 
same and even greater results may be found as in the 
earlier days. 

If it is the fact that there has been a tendency to 
more indefiniteness in the presentation of the message, 
there is certainly a risk of indefiniteness in the hearers. 
The Keswick Convention is too popular. It has been 
compared sometimes to a great Spiritual picnic, and 
many have gone rather with the idea of meeting with a 
number of pleasant Christian people than with the pur 
pose of meeting with God ; and then there are other 
reasons which bring people to Keswick. Some go to 
further the interests of some branch of Christian enterprise, 
it may be some foreign missionary society. Many of us 
may plead guilty to somewhat mixed motives in this 
respect, but the question is, are we not face to face with 
a serious danger ? The founders and earlier leaders of 
the Convention foresaw this difficulty, and though keenly 
interested in the missionary enterprise, they were greatly 
afraid lest missionary meetings should mean the putting 
forth of the claims of missionary societies each competing 
for popular support. It was due to such men as Mr. 
Hudson Taylor and Mr. Reginald Radcliffe, as Mr. Stock 
has pointed out, but perhaps more than all to Mr. Eugene 
Stock himself, that it has been possible to hold missionary 
meetings to plead for the evangelisation of the world, 
quite irrespective of the interests or claims of societies as 
such. But none know better than those who have had 
responsibility for the organisation of these meetings the 
difficulty they have had to contend with. Over and over 
again people have gone to Keswick not for the holy 


The Keswick Convention 

purposes of the Convention but to advocate their 
own " cause." 

By God s mercy the great missionary meetings have 
been inspired by the same Spirit whose influence is 
manifestly felt throughout the Convention, and few 
meetings have been more blessed in leading to true con 
secration of life and substance to the Lord s service. 
There remains, however, an increasing danger of the 
main purpose of the Convention being distracted from its 
true aim. The display of flags or banners bearing the 
devices of different missions which are sometimes found 
outside lodging houses, in which members of the 
particular mission are staying, may be of use in drawing 
together friends of different societies present at Keswick, 
but after all the object of the Convention is to bring 
individuals face to face with Christ and His claims, and 
the demonstration of these various agencies may be a 
hindrance rather than a help to the primary work of the 
Convention. These words are written with feelings of 
sincere sympathy with those who are burdened with great 
responsibilities, and with a keen sense of personal short 
comings along these very lines in the past. 

What, then, is to be the connection of the Convention 
with the missionary cause ? This has been most clearly 
answered by Mr. Stock, but it may be summarised here. 

The whole teaching of the Convention must lead if it 
is effectual to the whole-hearted consecration of each 
individual to the Lord and Master of our lives to be used 
as He will, whether at home or abroad, in His service. 
This would solve all the difficulties of want of suitable 
workers, and if the message is rightly received, the lack 
of funds also. What is the meaning of the lack of 
support of foreign missions at the present time but want 
of consecration on the part of Christians of this land ? As 
it has been said at Keswick personal consecration is 


A Last Word 

indeed a reality when it includes " purse and all." This, 
however, is to be achieved not so much by the rehearsal 
of missionary facts as by bringing the believer face to face 
with Christ s claims. 

But perhaps nothing has been a more happy feature of 
recent Conventions than the number of missionaries who 
have been brought together, sometimes through their own 
societies or through the help of friends, and none have 
more valued the blessings of the Convention than those 
who have been labouring in non-Christian lands amid 
surroundings which are often depressing physically, 
socially, morally, and spiritually. 

Great stress has been laid, in previous pages, upon the 
necessity for a Scriptural basis for the teaching of the 
Convention, and it is of the highest importance that this 
should be maintained. Extravagances in the teaching of 
Holiness have wrecked many lives which would otherwise 
have been fruitful, and where the experience of men is 
followed rather than the teaching of the Word of God 
disaster is imminent. None know this more truly than 
those who have watched the development of what may 
be called " Holiness teaching " during the past thirty 
years, and though by the goodness of God the teaching of 
the Convention has been kept on sober Scriptural lines 
there have been tendencies at times working in other 
directions which it has been necessary to resist with the 
utmost firmness. We do not dispute that many who 
have differed in expression from the teaching of the Con 
vention have often been found to live lives of true 
holiness and devotion. This, however, is not the only 
test, nor even the safest test, to apply to doctrinal teach 
ing, many people are better than their creed, and it is 
certain that many use expressions of which they do not 
understand the meaning. Some think that practice and 
not doctrine is the one thing needful, but unless doctrine 


The Keswick Convention 

and practice go together we are building a house on an 
insecure foundation, and the fall of that house is certain. 
This is a matter which depends upon the leaders of the 
Convention, and it may not seem to concern the hearers, 
but there is a call to each attendant to pray that the truth 
of God may be presented not only in all its fulness but in 
all its purity and truth. 

We have been considering the possibility of distraction 
from the central thought of the Convention, and have 
alluded to the risk of indefmiteness ; there is another 
danger of an entirely different kind which we may describe 
as over-definiteness. The great fact that the believer 
may enter upon a life of holiness by a definite act of 
faith, has led some to believe that the Christian life may 
be a series of new starts. Such people come to the Con 
vention year after year expecting to get an impulse which 
will carry them through their work only for another 
twelve months, when they will need a new stimulant, as 
it were, to enable them to cope with the work in which 
they are engaged. Some are continually attending after- 
meetings, expecting to gain some new blessing, and 
perhaps rising in their places in the hope that such an 
act may bring to them new power. 

This is surely an unhealthy state of mind, and quite 
opposed to the teaching of the Convention. Those who 
have received the great blessing which is set forth at 
Keswick have learnt the secret of peace and purity and 
power which comes from the indwelling of the Divine 
Spirit, and if this is so there should not be an endless 
series of backslidings needing fresh consecration to God, 
but a steady growth in grace. Thus, though much help 
may be gained from Conventions by those who have 
already been definitely helped through them, they may 
become a hindrance instead of a help if they are looked 
upon as the only means of spiritual blessing. 


A Last Word 

Once more there may be a danger lest human excite 
ment should be mistaken for the working of the Spirit of 
God. Hitherto the meetings have been marked by a 
spirit of outward quietness which has helped in no small 
degree to their effect. Yet some have thought that 
certain manifestations which have been associated with 
many revival movements are a necessary accompaniment 
of a work of the Spirit of God. 

The leaders of the Convention would certainly desire 
above all things that no action of theirs should interfere 
with the working of the Spirit of God, and they truly 
seek to know the will of God in the conduct of the 
meetings, but it is a matter of the highest importance 
that the control of the meetings should remain in the 
trusted hands of those who are the recognised leaders, 
and should not be entrusted to the guidance of others, 
who may be ignorant of the great objects of the Con 

The Keswick Convention is deeply concerned with the 
desire for world-wide revival, and the prayer circles 
formed several years ago to pray for this result have 
surely helped in no small degree in bringing about the 
spiritual awakenings which have taken place in Wales, 
India, and other parts of the world. It is the earnest 
prayer of all connected with the Keswick Convention 
that the same blessings may come upon England, 
Scotland, Ireland, and other lands. We do not believe 
that the leaders of the Keswick Convention will inter 
pose any barriers, which might hinder the Spirit of God 
from working through this Convention. 

In conclusion, it may not be out of place for one whose 
professional position gives him responsibility for the body 
to urge the importance of not forgetting the needs of the 
body and the danger of overstrain in such Conventions 
as those at Keswick. A holy self-denial in the matter of 


The Keswick Convention 

attending meetings is most necessary, and it can rarely 
be profitable to attend more than three meetings in one 
day, especially for those who come as missionaries from 
abroad. As the late Rev. C. A. Fox once said at 
Keswick, when speaking of the subject, " it is necessary 
to practice holy fasting." He knew well what this 
meant for himself as his bodily infirmities did not permit 
him to attend a large number of meetings. Common- 
sense, if sanctified in this as in all other concerns, should 
guide us to a right use of our opportunities, and if with 
the meetings time is taken for the quiet enjoyment of fresh 
air on mountain or lake the spiritual blessing may be all 
the more definite. In this connection reference may be 
made to the desire which has been expressed on various 
sides that what are known as "half nights of prayer" 
should be arranged. This is entirely opposed to the 
suggestions of the founders of the Convention, who put in 
the forefront of their programme the recommendation to 
retire to rest early. Their view was that with a long day 
of meetings it was important that there should be time 
for proper physical rest, and also time for secret com 
munion with God. If individuals, whether speakers or 
hearers, find it helpful to retire alone to the mountain, as 
did our Lord, and continue all night in prayer to God, 
especially if they have been hindered during the day in 
securing seasons of undisturbed communion, this is an 
entirely different matter, but to spend the greater part of 
the night at a prayer meeting, and that of an unusually 
intense character, after a day spent in attending meetings, 
is a practice which is, in the writer s opinion, fraught 
with serious danger to the physical, mental, and spiritual 
well-being of the individual. 

If each reader will prayerfully consider these sugges 
tions we may hope that the Convention will enter upon a 
new era of blessing which may have deep and lasting 

248 " 

A Last Word 

effects in our own land, and contribute in no small degree 
to that great end for which we look, "the evangelisation 
of the world in this generation," and the coming of our 





6 D T- 


Bound in strong Cloth Cover, 
Lettered on side, 

The Fifteen Volumes sent 

Post Free for 

Is. 6d. 

" THE HOLY LIFE " ... Rev. G. H. C. Macgregor 

"NEED AND FULNESS"... _ Dr. Handley Moule 

"JOHN THE BAPTIST" ... ... Dr. Elder Gumming 

"I FOLLOW AFTER" ... Rev. Prebendary Webb-Peploe 

"HIDDEN, YET POSSESSED" ... Rev. Evan H. Hopkins 

THEY MIGHT BE " ... ... Rev. Hubert Brooke 

" THE LIFE OF FELLOWSHIP " _ Rev. E. W. Moore 
"REALITY" . ... ... Rev. J. T. Wrenford 

" LIFTED LOADS "... . ... Miss Lucy Bennett 


Rev. W. Houghton 
"INSTEAD" ... ... Miss Nugent 



Rev. C. G. Moore 

The Record, speaking of the Keswick Library, says : " We very cordially 
recommend, as being distinctly Scriptural and spiritual in tone and practically 
helpful to Christians in daily work." 

The Christian says : " Helpful in daily life, stimulating of holy longings, 
fragrant with the sweetness of Christ, and faithful in presentation of His grace 
and fulness. 

Word and Work says : " Gracious, helpful, stimulating, and full of Gospel 





Rev. JAMES ORR, D.D., 

Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology in the United Free 
Church College, Glasgow. 


The Papers composing this volume were prepared in 
response to urgent request as a popular apologetic series in 
defence of the Bible from the attacks made on it from different 
quarters. They are now published in the hope that they may do 
something to steady the minds of those who are in perplexity 
owing to the multitude and confusion of the opinions that 
prevail in these times regarding the Sacred Book. The Papers 
are written from the standpoint of faith in the Bible as the 
inspired and authoritative record for us of God s revealed will. 
The author has no sympathy with the view which depreciates 
the authority of Scripture in order to exalt over against it the 
authority of Christ. He does not acknowledge that there is any 
collision between the two things, or that they can be really 
severed, the one from the other. He finds the Word of God 
and of Christ in the Scriptures, and knows no other source of 
acquaintance with it.